Klingon: A living language or not

tousseau
tousseau Member Posts: 1,484 Arc User
I just came across this little article:

http://www.wpr.org/klingon-living-language-thats-human-courts-decide

And thought it might be interesting to see what the STO community thought about it.

Discuss...

Comments

  • rattler2
    rattler2 Member Posts: 55,529 Community Moderator
    Well... hm...

    I do know Tolkein made the entire Elvish language for Lord of the Rings, along with some Dwarvish and I believe the black speach of Mordor...
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
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  • lilchibiclari
    lilchibiclari Member Posts: 1,193 Arc User
    The usual criterion for living languages is that there exist people for whom it is their native language. Not native in the sense of "use it for daily life", but rather native as in "first language learned in infancy".
  • starswordc
    starswordc Member Posts: 10,951 Arc User
    edited May 2016
    The usual criterion for living languages is that there exist people for whom it is their native language. Not native in the sense of "use it for daily life", but rather native as in "first language learned in infancy".

    It gets even simpler than that here. Did the language exist in the real world before it was used in a work of fiction?

    It doesn't matter that people can translate Shakespeare into Klingonese, it doesn't matter that Army linguists can use it as a qualification, it doesn't even matter that the writer of the dictionary and its syntactic rules thinks otherwise (yes, Marc Okrand disagrees with me here). It was created at the behest of an IP owner for use in a copyrighted and trademarked work of fiction. Any additions made therefore follow the rules for derivative works and must either be licensed or not-for-profit fan works.

    And don't even pretend that Gene Roddenberry would've said otherwise, because Roddenberry is the guy who wrote the lyrics for the TOS theme music so he'd get paid for the song instead of the composer. Oh, you didn't know it had lyrics? My point exactly.
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  • artan42
    artan42 Member Posts: 10,450 Bug Hunter
    rattler2 wrote: »
    Well... hm...

    I do know Tolkein made the entire Elvish language for Lord of the Rings, along with some Dwarvish and I believe the black speach of Mordor...

    That's really underselling him.​​
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  • voyagerfan9751
    voyagerfan9751 Member Posts: 1,120 Arc User
    What's next, can't do fan art of Trek?

    Good luck in stopping my future projects. =p

    If you haven't read through it yet, I recommend the thread in Ten Forward on this Legal Case:

    http://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/startrekonline#/discussion/1209869/axanar-draws-lawsuit-from-paramount-and-cbs

    the short of it is, Alec Peters is NOT the poor victim his overworked PR team (assuming he has one) would like you to believe
  • evilmark444
    evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,765 Arc User
    starswordc wrote: »
    It doesn't matter that people can translate Shakespeare into Klingonese.

    I thought Shakespeare translated the original klingon into English?

    B)
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  • jtoon74
    jtoon74 Member Posts: 409 Arc User
    Its not a living language because it is only used by a small number of people. Latin is everwhere but because so few people actively converse using it in everyday life its classed as a dead language.
  • jaguarskx
    jaguarskx Member Posts: 5,945 Arc User
    I would say it is difficult to say whether or not Klingon can be considered a living language or not. How many people must be able to speak and write Klingon before it is considered a living language? If me and a friend communicate with each other in Klingon would that be enough to consider it a living language?

    I suppose it also depends on how it is being used. Are we speaking / writing Klingon merely for the thrill of using a constructed language, or have we adopted it as a primary form of communication? I would have to say that in my opinion a language is only "living" if it is being used a primary form of communication in the real world, not just in social gatherings. Kinda like calling customer support where you are given the option to press "1" for Spanish or "2" for Klingon.

    The trickier part is copyright enforcement. CBS copyrighted the Klingon language because they had every right to do so. They paid Mark Okrand to create for use in Star Trek. It would be ludicrous of CBS to attempt to sue anyone any everyone using the spoken / written language of Klingon. But for individuals who leverages Klingon as a means to make money, then that is a whole other issue that goes well beyond the more simple question of whether or not Klingon is a living language.
  • lilchibiclari
    lilchibiclari Member Posts: 1,193 Arc User
    99% of the world could be speaking Klingon fluently, and it would still not be a classically "living" language as long as it is nobody's birth language. You need to have people who know NOTHING BUT the language in question. I say this as somebody who majored in Linguistics.
  • k20vtec
    k20vtec Member Posts: 513 Arc User
    edited May 2016
    starswordc wrote: »
    It doesn't matter that people can translate Shakespeare into Klingonese.

    I thought Shakespeare translated the original klingon into English?

    B)

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  • mhall85
    mhall85 Member Posts: 2,852 Arc User1
    Klingon is not even a complete language.
    d87926bd02aaa4eb12e2bb0fbc1f7061.jpg
  • tousseau
    tousseau Member Posts: 1,484 Arc User
    edited May 2016
    mhall85 wrote: »
    Klingon is not even a complete language.

    Funny you should say that, considering the June, 2015 update on the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) site, quite a few new words were added or amended in the English language.

    Is English a complete language?

    Even the Klingon Language Institute continues to ad words to their dictionary, as their understanding of the Klingon language increases... New Klingon Words.

    As the article, above, noted... that the Klingon language took on a life of its own through the fan-base, beyond what Okrand originally created.

    Out of curiosity, as I have not been able to find anything... does anyone know when the dead language of Latin has last had it's dictionary expanded upon, due to popular usage?
  • mhall85
    mhall85 Member Posts: 2,852 Arc User1
    tousseau wrote: »
    mhall85 wrote: »
    Klingon is not even a complete language.

    Funny you should say that, considering the June, 2015 update on the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) site, quite a few new words were added or amended in the English language.

    Is English a complete language?

    You misunderstand.

    Klingon is missing a number of words necessary to be a functioning form of communication today. G&T Show explained this a week or two ago... among the missing words given as examples, they said that the word for yellow, green, and red is the same thing, so a Klingon speaker wouldn't understand a traffic stop.

    In other words, the language is not "complete," in the sense that one cannot function in today's world by only speaking Klingon.
    d87926bd02aaa4eb12e2bb0fbc1f7061.jpg
  • starswordc
    starswordc Member Posts: 10,951 Arc User
    edited May 2016
    mhall85 wrote: »
    tousseau wrote: »
    mhall85 wrote: »
    Klingon is not even a complete language.

    Funny you should say that, considering the June, 2015 update on the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) site, quite a few new words were added or amended in the English language.

    Is English a complete language?

    You misunderstand.

    Klingon is missing a number of words necessary to be a functioning form of communication today. G&T Show explained this a week or two ago... among the missing words given as examples, they said that the word for yellow, green, and red is the same thing, so a Klingon speaker wouldn't understand a traffic stop.

    In other words, the language is not "complete," in the sense that one cannot function in today's world by only speaking Klingon.

    Actually it's green, blue, and yellow. But yeah, I can just imagine some Klingon manager going, "Dammit, petaQ, I wanted that wall painted SuD, not SuD!"
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
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  • marcusdkane
    marcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    Do Klingons see in the same spectrum, and with the same color-range as us? It could be, that to them, those colors look the same ;)
  • starswordc
    starswordc Member Posts: 10,951 Arc User
    Do Klingons see in the same spectrum, and with the same color-range as us? It could be, that to them, those colors look the same ;)

    Hey, maybe that explains all the red lighting.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
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  • marcusdkane
    marcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    starswordc wrote: »
    Do Klingons see in the same spectrum, and with the same color-range as us? It could be, that to them, those colors look the same ;)

    Hey, maybe that explains all the red lighting.
    ;)
  • markhawkman
    markhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    starswordc wrote: »
    Do Klingons see in the same spectrum, and with the same color-range as us? It could be, that to them, those colors look the same ;)
    Hey, maybe that explains all the red lighting.
    It does explain their strange choices in aesthetics...
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  • lilchibiclari
    lilchibiclari Member Posts: 1,193 Arc User
    I always took the red lighting as evidence of this--that Klingons have less sensitivity to blue, and can see into what we would call the near-infrared. The fact that their star is redder than Sol (K-type, see http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Qo'noS_system ) would support this as well--it would be less useful for them to see blue light when their sun produces less of it than ours.