The Universal Translator Blog is a sub-project of the LCARS 47 Development Project, a unique freeware canon accurate LCARS application suite.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Written Klingon Issue

A lot of Klingons the world over have pointed out to us that the Klingon text in HaSta 'elqarIS is not the Klingon Language Institute's pIqaD, or alphabet, but is instead the "Skybox pIqaD", an alphabet used on Fleer/Skybox Star Trek trading cards in the early 1990s.  The Skybox pIqaD uses the "Okuda Ten", a subset of ten Klingon Glyphs which form the bulk of all Klingon text seen on screen.

It was pointed out that this usage was wrong, and that the KLI pIqaD should be used instead; in part because the Klingon speaking community has adopted KLI pIqaD as it's "Klingon writing system" of choice, because it is easy to read, fairly simple to write, and has a one to one sound to grapheme correspondence.

While we appreciate this view, we are sticking with the decision to continue using Skybox pIqaD (for want of a better name), for several reasons:
  • The "Okuda ten" are canon, in as far as the vast majority of all Klingon text seen on screen actually only contains those ten letters.
  • Conversely, on an on screen basis, the KLI pIqaD is categorically not canon, containing letters that seem made up.
  • Although on screen Klingon text was just random letters, a way was found to make those random letters say something (at least on those trading cards), which became the basis for the written Klingon script today.
  • The upcoming release of the book "Federation, the First 150 Years", uses the Skypox pIqaD in it's artwork to write a Klingon document, showing that we're not the only one's using this alphabet.
  • Early Arabic and the Younger Futhark Viking runic alphabet were fairly ambiguous in writing their respective languages (insomuch as having far more sounds than actual letters in thier alphabet, like Klingon).
  • Scotty said "Damage control is easy, reading Klingon... that's hard!"  Go figure...
I hope that this clears up our stance on the Klingon script, and why we are going with the more canon option. We would ask our users to remember, this is just a novelty, a bit of fun.

So remember, Qapla'!

Originally posted by Greig Isles on 08 August 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment