Wed 15 Sep, 2004 12:42 pm
German radio starts Klingon service
By Alistair Coleman
The German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is celebrating 10 years of its online service by adding a new language to the 30 it already publishes - Klingon.
The language was developed for the Star Trek television and film series and is spoken by a warrior race of alien bad-guys from the planet Qo'noS.
In a futuristic leap, the Klingon pages appear on DW's web site under the date "September 2379", and describe Germany and the radio station at the start of the 21st Century.
The Berlin Wall has fallen, the Cold War has ended and Klingons - once the sworn enemies of Star Trek hero Captain Kirk - are now accepted as allies in the new world order.
And it is in this spirit that DW has launched its Klingon service.
Cars and football
The Klingon pages also have a serious side, publicising forthcoming additions to DW's web presence, such as a much-expanded Arabic service and an international weblog competition.
The pages describe Germany as a nation of car lovers and football fans, and "underline the station's philosophy of multicultural, intergalactic openness", according to DW director Erik Bettermann.
"We should celebrate our 10-year presence in the online universe with a cross-border language. This should help users from other galaxies get an impression of Germany."
The language was created in 1984 by linguist Marc Okrund for Paramount Pictures, and has caught the imagination of science fiction fans.
The works of Shakespeare and the Bible have already been translated into Klingon. There is even a Klingon Language Institute (www.kli.org).
Guido Baumhauer, head of DW's Online services, told the BBC that although the pages were initially published as a joke by DW engineers in their spare time, he has been taken aback by their popularity.
Star Trek fans and linguists "have taken it very seriously", he said, "and we have even been complimented on our use of the 'High Klingon' dialect."
He declined to give a quote for Klingon readers, saying only "tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHbe'" - "I do not speak Klingon".
For non-Klingon speakers, the pages in the Klingon language also appear in English and German.
DW qo': wa'maH ben chen 'ach wej Doy'
DIS 1994 dwelle.de taghDI' DW, tv online website wa'DIch 'oH. qaStaHvIS DISmey veb tInchoH 'ej tera'Daq noyqu'choH DW qo'
Corrected Link to Deutsche Welle
- thanks, Thok!
Believe it or not, I actually own the 'learn Klingon' cassette.
Hmmh, I always thaught, your language has improved recently.
That is the correct link.
well, actually this is odd.
But I suppose a few thousands really Star Trek Fans over the world read it. :-)
"As creator of the Klingon language for the popular Star Trek television shows and feature films, Washington linguist Marc Okrand is often asked what basis he used for the surly space warriors' guttural talk. "It's based on nothing," said Okrand, in Toronto for the opening of an Ontario Science Centre exhibit commemorating Star Trek's 30th anniversary. "Since it's not a human language, I didn't have to follow any human language rules." Okrand, who has written books, audio cassettes and a CD-ROM on all things Klingon, says other Klingon scholars are going even further. Hamlet has been translated, he says, and the Bible is in the works, "not from English, but from the original Hebrew." <Maclean's magazine>
Corrected the link, thanks Thok!