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  5. How many words have been inveā€¦


How many words have been invented for Klingonese ?

The reason I ask is I was reading about another constructed language that has 120 words and people hold conversations.

Instead of saying and having a word say like "Coffee", they may just say "Bitter dark drink"

If the language does not have a lot of words it should make it easier to learn.

July 11, 2019



Counting words is difficult in Klingon since word parts are used to create new words. Do we count only roots? Or do we count any root+affix combination that results in a different English word being used for translation? Or do we count every root+affix combination that the creator of the language has officially recognized? And it gets even more complicated than that. However, even the most conservative method of counting gets pretty close to 3,000 "words" and some of the fan databases of "words" are over 5,000 entries. The annual meeting of Klingon speakers is happening in 1 week and the creator of the language will probably reveal about 100 new "words" at the meeting.

It is definitely possible to hold full conversations in Klingon and probably significantly more easily than the language you read about (would that be Toki Pona?). It is not unusual for dedicated speakers at the annual meeting to declare they will only speak English for a day or even for the whole weekend. Some conversations become a little more challenging, but generally, people taking such a vow report that it was not really very difficult and they were able to discuss whatever they wanted.

Even with that large number of words, many basic conversations can be had with just 200 words and whole books have been written limiting themselves to only the most common 1,000 words in a language. So it is not necessary to memorize the full 3,000-5,000 "words" to begin having meaningful conversations in the language.


Yes I was reading about Toki Pona

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