Klingon Language Institute

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The Klingon Language Institute (KLI) is an organization who helps to teach and learn the Klingon language. Klingon is a language that has been made for the television show Star Trek. In the television show, the Klingons are a fictional (made-up) alien people who do not come from Earth.

qo’mey poSmoH Hol: language opens worlds - motto of the Klingon Language Institute.

General[change | change source]

The KLI is in Flourtown, Pennsylvania (USA). The organization started in 1992. For many years, students of the KLI got a small book called HolQeD (Klingon for language science) four times a year. Today, they can only get this booklet through the internet. Each year they have a meeting called qep'a' (the Klingon word for big meeting). Every student of the KLI can go to this meeting. At the meeting, they can speak and learn the Klingon language.

At the "qep'a'" of the year 2003, a documentary movie about the KLI was made. Its name is Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water. This movie was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Organization[change | change source]

The leader of the KLI is its founder Lawrence M. Schoen, Ph.D.

From time to time a so-called Beginners' Grammarian is chosen from the best Klingon speakers. His duty is to help and teach the beginners of the Klingon language, especially in the Klingon email discussion group, which anyone can use. When his duty is over, he can still be called "Grammarian". Today, the KLI has about 20 of those former Beginners' Grammarians.

The KLI talks very often with Marc Okrand, the person who made the Klingon language. Since the third qep'a' he has visited each one. When he is there, the students give him a list with words that they like to know. Not all the words are translated into Klingon. When he makes these new words, members of the KLI can read them in HolQeD.

Special Speakers[change | change source]

Rich Yampell[change | change source]

Rich Yampell (known to people who speak Klingon as HoD Qanqor or "Captain Krankor"), a software engineer currently living in Bellevue, Washington, is probably the world's first person to speak Klingon in normal conversation. He is the author of the book The Grammarian's Desk, published in 1996 by the Klingon Language Institute, a collection of the columns he wrote for the Institute's scholarly journal HolQeD. Yampell is also the author and co-author of many songs, such as the Klingon Anthem "taHjaj wo' " (music and lyrics), " 'Iv maH" (music and lyrics), "yIH bom" (music).

d'Armond Speers[change | change source]

Dr. d'Armond Speers is an American computational linguist (a word dude who works with talkie boxes) and a member of the KLI.

He graduated from Georgetown University in 2002. His final work topic was "Representation of American Sign Language for Machine Translation." [1]

Dr. Speers has tried to teach his child in Klingon; He only spoke to him in Klingon, and his wife spoke to him in English. When the child became older, he did not want to learn Klingon any more, because there was nobody to talk in Klingon.[2]

Lawrence M. Schoen[change | change source]

Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen is the founder and current director of the KLI. He makes the Institute's journal HolQeD. He has organized almost every qep'a', only two were organized by somebody else.

He obtained a bachelor's degree in psycholinguistics from California State University, Northridge, and then master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from Kansas State University. He has worked as a professor, teaching and doing research, at New College of Florida, Lake Forest College, Chestnut Hill College, and West Chester University. More recently he serves as the director of research and chief compliance officer for the Wedge Medical Center.

He also writes books about science fiction, and is a member of SFWA. In the year 2007 he was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA. There he has a post office box in Flourtown, the international headquarters of the KLI.

Publications[change | change source]

  • HolQeD
The quarterly journal of the KLI containing grammatical discussions, new Klingon words, Klingon literature as well as information for the members.
  • A Pictorial Guide to the Verbal Suffixes of tlhIngan Hol (1995, ISBN 0-9644345-0-4)
A book with drawings explaining the use of different suffixes. This book is not available anymore.
The Klingon version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Roger Cheesbro, with an introduction of Lawrence M. Schoen.
The Klingon translation of Shakespeare's most famous play, translated by Nick Nicholas and Andrew Strader. The KLI has helped with this translation. This project was started after the character Klingon chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) said in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: »You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon« (that means, it must be read in the Klingon to be completely understood and appreciated). The book is in Klingon and in English. Many things are explained in it.
The KLI printed and published a limited edition hardback version in 1996, entitled Hamlet Prince of Denmark: The Restored Klingon Version (ISBN 0-9644345-1-2)
Star Trek book seller Pocket Books published the work as a trade paperback (ISBN 0-671-03578-9) in 2000.
The next project of the KLI, also translated by Nick Nicholas.
A collection of grammatical wisdom from the HolQeD column by Captain Krankor, one of the first grammarians of the KLI. This book is not available anymore.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]