Review: Creator of ‘Star Trek’s’ Klingon Language Talks Intricacy of the Tongue

Before the first and last Klingon Opera ‘u’ was performed in Holland, an invitation (in Klingon) was shot into space by way of radio telescope.

Whether by spite or by miscalculation, the Klingons did not respond.

Since then, earthlings have made no attempt to contact the species, but have studied the Klingon language in great depth.

Originating from the original Star Trek television series, the Klingon language is harsh, confusing and unforgiving. The man who developed it is anything but that.

Marc Okrand, known as the main creator of the Klingon language, spoke at the College Park City Hall Saturday. The National Museum of Language sponsored the event.

Paramount Pictures hired Okrand  to help coach the actors speaking Klingonese in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Okrand said Klingon strays from traditional human grammar.

Okrand wanted to develop a language completely different from any human language. The sounds he paired together are ones that would never be heard in human languages such as English.

As he spoke phrases to us in Klingon I was amazed by the intricacy of the tongue movements, and the strange scratching noises that escaped his throat.

What I was most shocked about, however, is the immense following this language has. There is even a Klingon Language Institute.

Works ranging from pop culture songs, such as Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” to classic literature, such as Shakespeare, have all been translated into Klingon by the language’s loyal devotees.

Raye Weigel is a freshman English and community health double major and can be reached at

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