Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Klingon for Social Occasions

Being a fan of CBS's Big Bang Theory, I wasn't exactly surprised that this week's episode opened with the characters speaking Klingon.  But I laughed anyway.  The fact that a fictional language -- or maybe it's a real language created to flesh out fictional characters -- remains such a fixture of popular culture is funny in itself. And that was the inspiration for a column I wrote about ten years ago for Howdy, then the humor section on AOL.  In celebration of the wonderful, unrepentant geekiness the interest in Klingon represents,  I thought I'd take this occasion to resurrect that column here.



Admit it. You've always wanted to attend a Star Trek convention. But you're afraid you just wouldn't fit in. Sure, you're a fan, and you watched all the various episodes. But you don't have a Starfleet uniform, and you can't do that split-finger Vulcan salute. Somehow, you feel that you just don't measure up to the dedicated Trekkers, the ones that know the names of every female character who has ever locked lips with James Tiberius Kirk. Well, have no fear.

The Klingon language is a very hot topic among trekkers. If you take a moment to learn a few simple phrases of conversational Klingon, you'll be rubbing appendages with pointy-eared, exotically-garbed Trek-heads faster than you can say "Live Long and Prosper." Learning the following phrases will take a little practice. Just remember that the key to proper Klingon pronunciation is to pretend that you are walking barefoot on broken glass while trying to cough up a hairball.

Here's your lesson:

"h'Yarg! b'Nok ----- . mM'i d'weebik duRg"
Translation: "Hi! My name is _____. I'm 45 and I live with my mother."

"y'hHah! g'uTza oRomol'a zaSla ak'chEz s'Umuj aPnat!"
Translation: "Whew! Those Romulan burritos are murder! Sorry about the wallpaper!"

"w'ikkEe mukO i'gboy wOoo tookIe'ookie mAa'gne!"
Translation: "Picard might be smarter, but Kirk gets all the chicks."

"oO'eE Oo AhHa wAllaH bIng b'Ang!"
Translation: "Hey, baby, I've got my phaser set on 'love'."

"yAkY blEicka Ima w'oo bAgg'ag G'er!" Translation: "No , this isn't Klingon make-up!"

"hIya ffutS oStsa Ah'ma gG'ahna aMah'Ahnklas!"
Translation: "Hey, watch this, I can do the Vulcan nerve pinch on myself!"

"dAfeIg haArdfi nUmoite pOtue vilGuNe zlIfgna blAdrfo."
Translation: "I'd like to see Patrick Stewart in one of Shatner's wigs."

"uiHo VaZieg yOnbi gdIlrg mUflit gUgh!"
Translation: "Something about bony ridges on a woman's forehead gets me all squishy."

"gIcola uhTifoy mlEgthi fhUtomu varfGiO!"
Translation: "I got your logic, pal. RIGHT HERE!"

"g'Hak! g'Hak! g'Hak! g'Hak!"
Translation: "I'm not talking, I'm choking! Quick! Someone Heimlich me!"

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it? Practice a few minutes every day. Eventually, your larynx will stop bleeding and your throat will develop the thick scar tissue necessary for that authentic Klingon accent. Then, when the next Trek convention comes to town, lay in a course and....Engage!


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