Klingon (was Re: RELEASED Python 2.4, alpha 2)

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sat Aug 7 14:32:24 CEST 2004

Alan Anderson wrote:
> Peter Hansen <peter at engcorp.com> wrote:
>>Yes, of course after using them for a while they will become more 
>>readable, but there are people who have learned to speak Klingon as
>>well -- and that doesn't change the fact that Klingon is deliberately
>>very difficult to learn and awkward.
> Pardon me for jumping in, but I happen to be attending a conference on
> the Klingon language at the moment and I wanted to correct a
> misunderstanding.  Yes, Klingon is deliberately "alien", being
> intentionally created to be unlike many natural languages in many
> ways. But it's actually rather easy to learn, and it's only "awkward"
> in a couple of minor ways (embedding comparatives in larger sentences,
> for example) -- *every* language has its awkward spots.

Hmm... the last time I heard, which admittedly was several years ago,
there were only a couple of fluent Klingon speakers on the entire
planet, though thousands had attempted to learn it.  And one of those
was the originator of the language.  Maybe that data was incorrect,
or has changed?

> Were Klingon a natural language, its regularity would be exceptional.

That does count for a lot.

> This is just an anectodal data point that might let you know that what
> is difficult and awkward from your point of view could very well be
> simple and straightforward for others who don't share your
> preconceptions.

Perhaps as an Esperantist I have a pretty good idea of just how easy
to learn a language can be.  But you're right that I have preconceptions
about Klingon.  I'd be interested in stats on how many people really
do speak it fluently now.

Not to start a language war or anything... :-)


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