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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelpfulDuo

Duolingo’s Klingon Course is now available!

Klingon has arrived!

Start learning Klingon on web!

We’d like to thank the amazing team of contributors who made this course possible:

loghaD

mizinamo

jdmcowan

Klingon is a notoriously terse “conlang” - created for Star Trek. For example, the literal translation of “hello” in Klingon (“nuqneh?”) is “What do you want?” The nature of the language posed unique challenges during development, like how do you teach formal greetings in a language that has no use for them? Klingon also has case sensitivity which means that a word can take on different meanings if it’s capitalized or lowercase.

Whether you’re a veteran Klingon fan or a Star Trek newbie, we wish you Qapla' (success) in your language learning journey and can’t wait to hear what you think!

For those of you in the Chicago area - we’re hosting our first Klingon event on March 22nd. RSVP and details here.

The Duolingo Team

EDIT: This post initially stated that Klingon is the only language that places apostrophes in the middle of words, which is incorrect. Klingon is one of the few languages with apostrophes in the middle of words.

March 15, 2018

95 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

Klingon is the only language that places apostrophes in the middle of words.

No, it isn't. Very many languages use an apostrophe to represent glottal stops that can occur mid-word, just as Klingon does, including Guaraní, which has been on Duolingo for a long time...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/em7ec

The Wade-Giles method of romanizing Chineses uses them to indicate aspiration (Chin = Jin, Ch'in = Qin).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luko.

Also Lojban I think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelpfulDuo

Good point, thank you for pointing that out! Edited the post with this correction :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

Even English puts apostrophes inside words sometimes: can't couldn't doesn't don't won't wouldn't etc. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yateanieys

The examples you gave are contractions, though. Contractions are technically two words by definition. Apostrophes don't show up in the mid'dle o'f wor'ds lik'e th'is in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

I quite deliberately confined my original statement to apostrophes only representing glottal stops to avoid exactly the various (and in my view, valid) arguments you are making. Ukrainian is a valid example of a language with mid-word apostrophe use not representing glottal stops, however.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/butsuri

Contractions are technically two words by definition.

Nonsense. Contractions are shortened forms of words, particularly those in which elided letters have been replaced with an apostrophe. For example "e'er" for "ever".

In any case, even if you want to analyse "couldn't" as two words (which it is etymologically and perhaps syntactically, but not orthographically or phonologically), the words would be "could" and "n't". The second "word" still has an apostrophe within it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Superciel

French (native language of mine) : Aujourd'hui (today), presqu'île (peninsula),, entr'ouvert (half-opened) (you can also use entrouvert though) and many more I havent mentioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonkobu

Still, those are basically two words fused together with a apostrophy. Klingon has words that have those naturally, so that you cannot paraphrase them as "C'est presque une ile -> presqu'ile"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avigail858729

Your good at learning languages


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchCamille

I just want to thank the amazing contributors to this awesome new course. Your hard work and long hours are really paying off. We thank you so very much. You are appreciated in the duolingo forums and beyond.

Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.S.Beg

It is amazing that you are learning 23 languages simultaneously. Can you write the difficulty of European languages from easiest to hardest, English being the native language? Thanking you in anticipation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevanSF

Too bad there isn't audio. I would think the company that owns the rights to the Star Trek franchise would allow Duolingo to use some audio clips from various shows/movies for free, given that this course also helps promote the ST franchise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerGoldmann

It would be great if they could get Shazad Latif, the guy who plays Voq from Disco to do the recordings. From what I've read his Klingon is on point. Mary Chieffo who plays L'Rell seems good too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qov-jIH-je

How about if we got the person who taught the Star Trek Discovery Klingon actors how to say their lines? WE DID! Come listen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

Actors often don't tend to put much effort into pronunciation when it comes to fictional languages assuming that no native speakers will notice anyway. For now I would suggest this guy https://www.youtube.com/user/StarTrekIS/videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/KlingonTeacher/videos

I think he has a much better knowledge of the language and how it should be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julestheman

Will there be any audio in this course?


[deactivated user]

    Are there any Klingon native speakers in this thread?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    I have only ever heard of one native speaker of Klingon on Earth, and as far as I know, he stopped speaking Klingon when he was five.

    In the real world, there are no native speakers of Klingon, only second-language learners.

    Only in the fictional universe which many Klingon speakers pretend to be in are there native Klingon speakers (who occasionally supply us with insight into new vocabulary, for example).


    [deactivated user]

      Yea, yea, but what if they simply use Klingon cloaking devices?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OrigamiAhsoka

      Lol! That would be awesome.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Haesselmaas

      Oh? What about B'ellanna Torres?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      What about her? She lives in "the fictional universe which many Klingon speakers pretend to be in" that I mentioned.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Haesselmaas

      Oh, sorry, I thought your first sentence was a reference to Worf ;)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      No -- to the child of D'Armond Speers.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FLchick

      Where's Worf?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isnottogive

      Even if I will probably not be able to try the course in a long while, since I have got a whole lot of other languages to take care of first (And this time I shall be following my plan through and through), I'm beyond ecstatic that Klingon is finally here.

      My dad was an absolute Trekkie (The last movie we watched in cinemas together was Star Trek: Into the Darkness), and in a certain way, learning (or at least trying to learn) Klingon would be my way of continuing his legacy of love for the series.

      So a big thanks to the team behind the course!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Darkwaters32

      Excellent news! Glad to see all the hard work finally personified!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-.Andrew.-

      Thanks for the new course!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.S.Beg

      It is amazing that you are learning 12 languages simultaneously. Can you write the difficulty of European languages from easiest to hardest, English being the native language? Thanking you in anticipation.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Demonym281

      Dutch is the closest to English but has a lot of weird grammar, Scandinavian languages EXCEPT Finnish seem very benign, German's okay (seems like you have no problem with that at level 24 though lol), Italian and Spanish - idk about Catalan - are the easiest in the Romance family IMO, then French, then Portuguese, then Romanian.

      After that you're onto Slavic languages and more obscure families...I heard Bulgarian/Macedonian (almost the same) has the oldest and thus simplest grammar among all the Slavic ones.

      Welsh, Irish and Hungarian all really interesting but pronunciation and grammar are very tough for beginners I think. Finnish + most of the Slavic grammars sound painfully hard.

      Latvian and Lithuanian are the closest you can get to the Proto-Indo-European language we all spoke thousands of years back, that's all I know of them. Estonian is close to Finnish...Maltese is a crazy mix of Arabic and Sicilian...Albanian I have absolutely no idea...Basque is impossible


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/L-C-L

      Basque is not "impossible". Thousands of non native speakers learn it every year. It has very regular pronunciation and orthography, uses the Roman alphabet and has borrowed thousands of Latin and Romance words.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Demonym281

      Of course it's not actually impossible, I'm just being flippant. I love how Basque looks + the fact it's survived in isolation somehow, but the grammar does seem very unique...in terms of sentence structure etc


      [deactivated user]

        finally, and thank you, everyone who has contributed to this coarse and even those who have been helpful in voting for it.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polygl-not

        Thanks to the Duolingo team for adding Klingon; based on the other comments, it seems like it's not everyone's favorite, but I've personally been waiting for (if I can remember correctly) almost two years. I'm looking forward to learning such a well-known conlang, and I wish everyone luck! (And to think that I once thought Welsh and Polish were the hardest to pronounce!)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

        WOOHOO!!

        I love Conlangs. Especially conlangs that are part of fandoms (fan communities) like Klingon. Fandoms can be powerfully transformative for our world.

        Things like fanfiction, fanvids, fan art, and fan communities give people an amazing space to envision a world different from our current one. There they can test out theories about alternative ways to structure society and economics and members of minority communities are often able to carve out universes that better reflect their inclusion.

        Avid consumers of fan works and fan spaces can consume copious different theories and experience in theoretical space how they might compare and the various ways they might play out. And the effects of this fan-space world building doesn't tend to stay strictly in fan-space, these fans are also part of real space and take momentum into the policies they write and advocate for.

        So, a very big THANK YOU! to Team Klingon for weathering the storms and making this language more accessible. :)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

        Yes, fandoms don't have to be just brand loyaltoies. :)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveRutan

        Hmm. Is there a way to express 'Thank You' in Klingon?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        Kind of.

        There is a verb tlho' which means to thank, so qatlho' would be "I thank you" to one person and Satlho' "I think you" to multiple people.

        But Klingons themselves tend not to use "thank you" as often as English speakers do, so (over)using the verb tlho' may well mark you as an outsider.

        It's fine to thank someone for saving your life, but if you ask someone to bring you a glass of water and they do so, that's not worthy of further comment.

        Similarly, there's no word for "please" -- "Could you give me some water, please?" is bIQ HInob! "Give me water!". In Klingon, that's not rude -- just direct and to the point.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveRutan

        Wow! I wasn't expecting there to be one, but then the Klingons do acknowledge the concept of debt, so the concept of thanking wouldn't be that far off. I appreciate the answer!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eaefremov

        Call me weird, but although I've owned more than one Star Trek shirt, and even been to (more than one!) convention, here on Duolingo I study languages that aren't fictional. As I do, daily I continue to experience the same two bugs that I have seen for as long as I can remember noticing. Recently I got the hankerin' for some more Immersion, which is when I found it's been taken out. I read up on that decision, and discovered that because only half a percent of users used it, you cut that feature. I had actually been under the impression that community translation was Duolingo's underlying reason for existing and all the gamified learning was supposed to result in people graduating to Immersion. Meanwhile, while it's obvious that there is demand for this language from a sci-fi franchise, what's not as clear to me is the actual real-life benefit (to anyone on Earth) of $atisfying this demand. Do you think Klingon learners will buy Plus?

        Anyway, I guess my point is, your priorities are showing.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricLindblom

        Is there pronunciation for Klingon? I started the first lesson and it's not pronouncing the words.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveRutan

        Apparently there's no audio componant, but this video might be a small help. link

        Check out the channel's other Klingon videos.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricLindblom

        Thanks Dave. I'll have a look at it.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kj3ER06x

        This course has been in the incubator for a long time, so I bet a lot of people are excited for it! I wish you all Qapla' in your journey learning Klingon!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PannasOwen

        Yay yay yahoo!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HunterJamesK

        Very excited to start this course today! Any idea when it'll be available for the app too? Next up: Dovahzul, perhaps? :p Always excited for a new language to start learning.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elmagnificbro

        YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JammyDodgie

        YAY!! I've waited SO long!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuleneDS

        I know people think its silly to learn a fake language but I think its super fun and I'm looking forward to learning at least a few basic phrases to chat with friends :) :)


        [deactivated user]

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P-Code

          I've said this a few times already, but I'm saying it again: thank you so much, Klingon team!!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Conner913106

          I'm a Star Trek Newbie but think this will be fun to learn! Wish me luck an success. maj!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajirammico

          Aww, no audio :(


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Finas5

          Mi estas tre feliĉa! Konstruitaj lingvoj estas pli amuzaj!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia_Williams

          Yay! Thanks Duolingo :)


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MobiuS_360

          This how you become the greatest nerd of all time XD Merci DuoLingo !


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randoooooooo

          Maybe do Estonian or Finnish next?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

          I think that Duolingo plans to unveil its Finnish course to mark the historic visit of the first Protestant Pope to the thriving and cosmopolitan free-thinking democracy of North Korea.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tiramisues

          And the Lingot for the best description of "never" goes to you.

          But never say never, if Luis' mom changes her mind about Finnish it might happen...


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

          This is one of the funniest things I've ever read here. Well done.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rachael.cr3

          Yay! I love learning conlangs - really looking forward to this course.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaptianKaos8

          Does anybody know when the Duolingo update that used crowns comes out?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenryLeonardi

          if there's no audio, could they at least put some explanations for the orthography? I have no idea how to pronounce anything in these lessons


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deact1vated_User

          Wahoo! Finally! I can earn more nerd points!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shane_anigans27

          Awesome! I personally like seeing more conlangs added to this.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

          Give some good reasons to start learning Klingon. Okay, I like Star Trek, but I am not so much fan to start learning an artificial language used in there.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

          Are you asking us to convince you that you should learn it? If you're not already inclined, then I'm fine with you deciding you don't need to study it and I don't feel like I need to convince you otherwise.

          Or are you asking us to justify why we want to learn it? We don't have to justify anything. We want to learn it and that is enough, even if we can't explain it. Don't you have any hobbies?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

          Stergi3, whether you decide to learn it, here are some ways that conlangs can build cohesion as part of bigger things that can enrich our world: Conlangs and the American Football Fandom. ^_^


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          The main reason to learn Klingon is probably "for fun".

          If you don't like learning languages just for fun, it's fine if you don't learn Klingon.

          Another reason might be to learn an agglutinative language, but you already know Turkish.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Irene260843

          Also, learning an OVS language is good brain exercise.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

          Before asking the question I searched for some information about. A language is not just a list of words that makea a phrase, it is a brain product that is created by some mechanism and procedure in human brain. Some linguists as it is Chomsky developed the theory that all languages have the same, common structure as humans have a common part of brain that language is developed. So, that is the question: What new can Klingon give me, except for the pleasure of expressing my thoughts in a famous TV and movie language? For instance, High Valyrian is created by a well known linguist based on scientific principles. Esperanto had been created to be an easy to learn language, so as to become a lingua franca for all. What about Klingon?

          Ok, I know that many are real fans, so these questions are meaningless to them. But I have this question and it's real to me.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

          Thanks for explaining that. The way you asked the question, it sounded like a challenge, rather than an inquiry. I still find that the reasons tend to be personal and different for everyone, so I din't know that I can give a good answer. But I can say something about High Valyrian. Klingon is also created by a talented linguist, though one who was not so famous when he started. Klingon is older than High Valyrian and has a larger community of speakers. I haven't studied High Valyrian, but I find that Klingon to be an interesting study in creating a language to look, sound, and feel like a natural language. I also found there are a lot of jokes in the language that make it a lot of fun.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErickSoares3

          This course will be released in more languages? And what about more conlangs? - Thanks


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

          There are no current plans to release this course for other languages. But I wouldn't be surprised if, once the course graduates from beta, a team gets together to copy it for German. But this team is expert in Klingon and wouldn't have anything to do with other conlangs.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OrigamiAhsoka

          Woohoo! My father thought that it was funny that Duolingo even made a Klingon course, but now he can see that they were serious!

          I have always thought that it would be fun to learn Klingon, and where I live it is called the language of nerds.

          What can I say? I am a nerd, and proud of it.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fractal_shadow

          Every time a new language is released, people are complaining that it isn't the language THEY wanted to see. Well, I for one am extremely grateful for the volunteers who worked so hard (for free!) to provide a nice Klingon course that no one is obligated to do.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tamiatha

          Very excited for this, I've been waiting for about two years for Klingon on Duolingo! Please please add audio, I just don't understand why that wasn't part of it, as it seems this language would be twice as difficult to learn without it. I'm having trouble already, but I'm just happy for what we have! Thank you to the volunteers!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          Audio is definitely planned, but we wanted to get the course out first in a basic version to gauge popularity and success.

          If it is successful enough to warrant the additional work of integrating audio, that may happen at a later point.

          Please also be aware that there are some remaining known issues with capitalisation and apostrophes (e.g. hints for words that start with an apostrophe may be blank) -- this is not a completely finished course.

          But despite being a bit "rough around the edges" (no audio, etc.), we hope that it will still be useful!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacRae5

          Perhaps Duolingo could use a font that more clearly shows the difference between a lower case "l" and an upper case "I". Thanks.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zevlag13

          I'm glad Duolingo is also working in fictional languages such as High Valyrian and Klingon.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tymewalk

          Oh yeah! I'm super hyped to hear it's finally out. It's been a long wait, but it's definitely worth it. Thanks Duolingo and Klingon team, you guys rock!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeltingPsychic

          the literal translation of “hello” in Klingon (“nuqneh?”) is “What do you want?” [...] Klingon also has case sensitivity which means that a word can take on different meanings if it’s capitalized or lowercase.

          Speaking of which it's nuqneH not nuqneh...


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleChen352

          Great for Star Trek fans :)


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/medicjnavarro

          The course needs the audio!!!!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StarTrekFa1

          Why is there no pronunciation or voice speaking while you hover? will that come later? right now we can't speak it or hear it, only see and type


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          Audio will hopefully come later, but there is no specific ETA we can give yet.

          There are still some remaining problems, not just with missing audio but also with capitalisation and hints for words starting with apostrophe, but we're releasing the course in beta version now anyway for people who would like to try to give it ago even in this less-than-finished state.

          Just please be aware that this is not a completely polished course yet.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dpatkat

          Any recommended list of Star Trek episodes where Klingon Spoken? Some jibberish, and others forming the foundation for birth of Klingon as a language.

          PS, Congrats


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

          The TV shows prior to the current one, Discovery, all had terrible Klingon. The movies did pretty well because they hired Dr. Okrand to translate the lines and be on set to help the actors. The Motion Picture, The Search for Spock, The Final Frontier, and The Undiscovered Country all of good Klingon in them. The new Discovery has hired a couple of the top Klingon speakers to do their translations and hired dialect coaches to make sure it is pronounced correctly, so it's got very good Klingon, too.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

          dpatkat,
          The new Star Trek series, called Star Trek Discovery has Klingon lines and Klingon subtitles for at least one episode via Netflix. (Online, I've seen some people mention that it is only episode one, and others mention it is only episode 4. So, I don't know if by episode 1 people meant only 1 episode and that episode is 4, or, what.)

          I don't know if the the entire episode offers subtitles or if only the parts in spoken Klingon have been captioned. I'm hoping that with the use of the word "subtitles", they are signaling that it's the entire episode.

          I'm not sure if they've subtitled more since then. You have to go into the subtitles menu to access the Klingon subtitles. Also, I'm not sure if the Klingong subs available everywhere or not. In the beginning, people were saying they couldn't access the subtitles unless they were using Canada's Netflix.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

          The Klingon subtitles are only available on Netflix, which means they cannot be seen in the US or Canada (since the show is on other networks in those countries). Rumor is the Netflix Klingon subtitles will be available on the Blue Ray in all countries where it will be sold. Where the Klingon subtitles are available, they are available on all the episodes and all of the dialog, no matter the language, is subtitled in Klingon.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

          Hi jdmcowan, thank you for letting us know that the subtitles cover all episodes!

          I was wondering what the hold up was with us not being able to see the Klingon subtitles in the US. I didn't realize they were also not available in Canada! I must have mis-remembered or it must have changed for Canada. I am sad that business competition has had a negative impact on language access like this. :(

          Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.