Klingon and Elvish

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Cellar_Door, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    I've never understood why anyone would spend valuable time learning a language that no-one really speaks. Is it just a love of learning languages for the sake of it? Or is it a love of the fantasy worlds these languages are used in?
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  3. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned


    Who the hell can speak klingon and elvish? :bugeye:

    - I mean apart from klingons and elves ofcourse, but they are expected to, Don't be racist.

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  5. orcot Valued Senior Member

    If no one speaks it then I can?
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    They are just trying to be Trolls is all.

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  8. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    The same reason all useless activities are learned...to pick up chicks.

    The question is, do you want star trek chicks or Lord of the Rings chicks?
  9. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    A handful of people, and there are websites devoted to it. I remember on Rock School there was this public school boy who kept talking to everyone in Sindarin.
  10. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    I agree. For the same reason who are these losers who spend their time writing things about people who don't exist in places that don't exist. Fiction is dumb.[/sarcasm]

    Obviously, learning a made up language is a kind of hobby. In the grand scheme of things it's no better or worse than playing video games or going bird-watching.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You have to be really obsessed with the world an author creates to bother putting in the effort to learn its language. But once you do, if you're that obsessed, I'm sure it's rewarding. Klingons used to occasionally spout off on the Star Trek franchises, and being able to understand what they were saying probably enriched the experience of watching. As I recall, Klingon is the only alien language that was developed beyond one or two words, and Klingons are surely the most popular aliens on that show.

    The thing about Elvish is a little harder to figure out, since there are no new "Lord of the Rings" franchises to look forward to, and I don't remember that it was spoken in the movies, at least not to any significant extent. Still, it's from the same era when geeks were mighty, (it was written in the 1950s but didn't catch on until the 1960s) and surely attracted the same kind of people.

    I read LOTR in 1971, catching that fad when it was still hot, but I never appreciated the original Star Trek series (and still don't) and only became a fan when TNG came along two decades later.

    The Klingon language was never spoken on the original series. We were hearing Klingon speech through the Universal Translators. It was first heard in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," and James Doohan (Scotty) devised the phonetics and that first handful of words. He did a good job (I'd say an over-the-top job) of extracting the elements of the phonetics we Americans identified with our enemies: the guttural consonants that typify German and the paucity of vowels that characterizes Russian.

    Linguist Marc Okrand expanded Doohan's work into a complete language and published its grammar, syntax and vocabulary in The Klingon Dictionary. A Klingon translation of Hamlet was published after "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country" was produced; the title is a quote from the play and presumably it spurred interest in the project among the geeks--whoops I mean the Trekkies.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  12. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

    OMG, I cannot even properly handle the few languages I have “learned” and my wish list is long enough not to learn artificial languages.
  13. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    My post wasn't meant to bash those people who do learn made-up languages; I was genuinely interested in the motivation for such a strange hobby.
  14. Atopos Registered Member

    I am quite passionate about languages and I'm currently studying several of them, both for university and for fun. But while now I focus on modern languages, years ago I started studying some elvish (actually quenya, not sindarin). Why?
    - I was in high school, I didn't have much to do and I was(am) a fan of LotR.
    - I was in High school, I had to study Latin, which is dead dead dead language and boring as hell; Quenya at least was fun.
    - To me, most languages are fascinating in the beginning, when you learn the first few words, but in the long run they all seem boring, ugly, stupid and so on. The same very thing happens with my own mother tongue as well (which, BTW, is Italian). So you wonder: is there a pretty language in this world? Well, elvish is very pretty, especially when spoken by a cute elvish chick (somebody said Liv Tyler?).

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    Honestly, even though there is a fair amount of elvish in both the book and the movie of "the lord of the rings", it is usually translated; I never learnt as much elvish to understand what people were saying (or the Namarië). However I believe that understanding other languages spoken in movie is fun, for example the germans in Indiana Jones!
    Or I remember a movie (something in mexico, I don't remember the title) in which 30% of the speech was in Spanish, WITHOUT subtitles. There was enough english to understand the main plot, but understanding the spanish in it gave a completely different flavour and meaning to it all.
  15. phlogistician Banned Banned

  16. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Test your Klingon Google-Fu on this;

    "It's a bat'leth, you filthy p'tahk."

    find me the cartoon where this line is used!
  17. Arachnakid Linguist-In-Training Registered Senior Member

    I don't know about other people, but personally I am fascinated with languages both real and fictional, and I am actually developing a couple of my own (not another dwarvish/elvish; neither exists in my stories.)
  18. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member



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  19. phlogistician Banned Banned


  20. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I don't think that you can really learn either of Tolkien's elvish languages to the point of them being useful, because unfortunately he never finished them. He mostly just made up words for it whenever he needed them for something that he was writing, so now we have lots of grammar rules but very little actual vocabulary. You can't really use it in conversations (unless you want to have very very simple conversations) because half the words that you will need just don't exist.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Ursula K. Le Guin has an essay floating around about the world of people who make up languages. There are a lot of them. She suggests, with tongue only partly in cheek, that Tolkien wrote his books largely to give his beloved languages someone to speak them.

    Children invent language all the time, as do gangs and most other pack-groups of people. Usually it's a small modification of their parent's lingo, but in places where children of two mutually incomprehensible lingo-packs play together, a new and different human language is a common consequence. Commonly, some of it is more distant or brand new invention - apparently by some one of the children involved.
  22. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Of course.
    Chicks dig guys who know Elvish, because the know it's all in the hips.:shake:
  23. John99 Banned Banned

    All languages are artificial anyway. We need something even more streamilined and simple.

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