Minister of Finance here . . .
Further to the subject of artificial languages spoken by considerable
numbers of people, a wholly invented language is Klingon, spoken by
“trekkies” (fans of the Star Trek movies and TV series) everywhere.
There are a couple of websites which offer lessons in Klingon, and some
on-line English-Klingon dictionaries. The language was developed
specifically for the series, and it is owned and copyrighted Paramount
Pictures/Viacom. You cannot publish anything using Star trek characters
or the Klingon language or even the Klingon alphabet without their
permission, and all materials must be reviewed and approved by them.
The language is full of coughs, spits, snarls and growls, but it
actually does have a well structured and pretty understandable grammar
and syntax. The vocabulary is somewhat limited, but is adequate for the
needs of the show and for simple conversations. Remember that even
though English has almost 1,000,000 words, the average speaker of
English regularly uses only about 800 of them.
My contact with the Klingon language was fairly strange – I am a Notary
Public, and as such, can perform weddings here. I officiated at a
wedding in which the groom was a Star Trek fan, and he wanted the
ceremony to be conducted in Klingon. I did some research, and was making
pretty good progress in translating the wedding vows from English into
Klingon, and then someone told the bride-to-be about it. She immediately
put her hands on her hips and her foot down – “My wedding is going to be
in ENGLISH or there won’t BE a wedding, do you understand me, fool?”
(She was addressing her husband-to-be.)
He quickly saw the light, and I didn’t have to work on the translation
any more – which was a great relief.
Minister of Finance