With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek recently behind us we saw a lot of content that made us extremely nostalgic for the days of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
One post from WIRED made us think, though. As many people know, regardless if they categorize themselves as Trekkies or not, Star Trek introduced the world to a new constructed language: Klingon.
While Marc Okrand was not the first linguist to construct a language for popular culture (Tolkien was a philologist, after all), Star Trek’s use of Klingon is different for the reason that actors actually had to speak it.
While Elvish in Lord of the Rings is explored and used in large paragraphs, songs, and other texts, actors in the subsequent movies only needed to memorize a few lines. In Star Trek, however, actors actually had to learn Klingon.
What is really cool about constructed languages meant for TV or Film is the ability to bring viewers, and actors, into the world. They act as an open window into the world – a world which we have a limited view into already.
WIRED asked Joey Windsor, a linguistics doctoral student at University of Calgary, to put together a list of a few Klingon phrases, and their usages, that could save your life; you know, in case you found yourself abducted by some Klingons.
Phrases in the list include:
Hab SoSlI’ Quch (Your mother has a smooth forehead!)
Pronounced: xɑb ʂoʂ.ˈlɪʔ q͡χut͡ʃ
Usage: As any Trekkie knows, this is a serious insult.
jagh yIbuStaH (Concentrate on the enemy!)
Pronounced: d͡ʒɑɣ yɪ.ˈbuʂ.tʰɑx
Usage: Klingon does have words for “sorry” and “surrender,” but according to Windsor, “no Klingon would use them, and you would lose all honor if you did.” Try this distraction tactic instead.
Besides Klingon being a really interesting language construction-wise, it is its creation in general that is striking.
As we mentioned, the involvement of a language other than English in Star Trek brought audiences in. It was something huge fans learned themselves and could share.
The learning curve may be tough, but it’s worth it, isn’t it? To be a part of something it takes effort. But anything worth doing is worth doing well, right?
Social Media is kind of like that as well. There is a language involved in Social Media that, while takes place in our own existing languages, is constantly evolving.
From hashtags to acronyms, Social Media Language is always growing to include new ways of communicating.
Like Trekkies, we feel it’s important to learn the ways of communicating with those of similar interest.
Do you have favorite Social terms? Share with us in the Comments Section!