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Klingon in Star Trek The Motion Picture

In the motion picture there is a scene featuring Klingon, the first use of the language in fact and one of my favourite Klingon scenes. I want to know exactly the Klingon which is spoken in it. I've been looking for a transcription of if but only found the English translation. Can you help?

The scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbG3N51MEjM

December 13, 2018



Thanks but it seems not completely accurate. If you listen in the video for example at 01:35 he definitely does not say "haSta" but "haS cha'". Also at 01:56 and and 04:19 he doesn't say simply "baH" but rather "baHt", you can definitely hear a "t"-sound at the end of the word.


That's what I'm hearing, too, but that's what Dr. Okrand says the Klingon is saying.


Marc Okrand didn't write the original lines of Klingon. When he created his Klingon language he adopted and incorporated those lines. He did his best to guess at what they were pronouncing, plus tried to squeeze it into the grammar he was developing. If it was a little changed, I don't think he was going to worry about it.

I agree with your hearing. I think wIy cha and HaS cha were meant by Doohan and Lenard to be wIy = tactical, HaS = visual, and cha = display. But that's not what Marc Okrand heard, or wanted to hear, and now we officially have HaSta as visual display, wIy as tactical display, and cha' as show, display (v).

I don't agree with some of what the Klingon wiki has to say about the lines. I think the last line is clearly juntaH, not junchoH. I don't hear any SSS before the baH. But I also don't hear the t after baH that you do.

I also could totally believe that he's not saying cha yIghuS — accepted by all for decades as what he says there but which only means stand by on torpdeos — but ya yIghuS, which would match the subtitle Tactical, stand by on torpedoes. The consonant at the beginning of the line is not absolutely obviously a ch; it might just be his gravelly voice.


I do hear him say 'eSSS 8 seconds before (4:10) the second time he says baH (4:18).


Ohhh, you guys are talking about the second time they fire. I totally forgot about that line.

Yes, there he's saying something like SSS. It actually sounds more like 'ISSS. But his command after that never sounded to me like baH, or even baHt. Frankly, it always sounded to me like "aft!" and then they fire their aft torpedo, not that that makes any sense. I could also believe he's saying 'aH. Since he's apparently saying the same thing he said the first time they fired, one must assume his pronunciation, or the audio quality, is just different for the same word.

These lines aren't mentioned at all on the wiki page.


I think on the special features for Star Trek III, Mark Okrand says that he started with that scene and worked with that dialogue to build the Klingon language around that.

The captain is Mark Lenard, the man better known as the one, true Sarek.


That's also James Doohan's voice. Kind of not surprising when you realize he did what half the voices on TAS?


There's a lot of versions of the story going around at this point. Like a game of telephone. Here are some excerpts from an interview with Mark Lenard published in the journal of the Klignon Language Institute:

John Povill, the associate producer on the Motion Picture, and Jimmy Doohan worked together;
I think that John may have done most of the work but Jimmy recorded it.
They gave me this recording that Jimmy and John Povill had made. And I listened to it and I did it once and then I listened to it another time and each time it was different, I hate to say, it was different, so I kind of did it my own way anyway, using the principles of what they had done.

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