There has never been an easier time to learn the Klingon language as Duolingo now offers a course which you can take online! Today is a good day to pickup Klingon! We’ve already heard from Shazad Latif from ‘Star Trek Discovery‘ that it was “quite easy” to speak and now is your opportunity to learn it! Just be sure you know how to make “Arabic and Spanish rolling Rs” when you speak.
The best part? You can learn it for free! The concept is that you will “learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day with our game-like lessons. Whether you’re a beginner starting with the basics or looking to practice your reading, writing and speaking, Duolingo is scientifically proven to work.”
While at this time you can only learn it online, there are plans for Duolingo and CBS Consumer Products to make it available through their iOS and Android apps at a later date.
If you’ve wanted to learn other languages, this isn’t the first constructed language that they’ve offered a course on as previously they’ve rolled out courses for both Esperanto and High Valyrian.
Duolingo’s senior PR manager Michaela Kron shares that the language class came about thanks to the company’s volunteer system:
“While some of our earliest courses were built internally, most Duolingo courses are built by volunteers using the Duolingo Incubator. Through an application process, we carefully vet the volunteer contributors to ensure their skill level and commitment to the project needs. Then our team of language learning experts, linguistics PhDs, and tech staff help review the courses and provide QA and testing.”
The course came about once the company had enough fluent volunteers ready to help put things into place and “In the case of Klingon, the course development was led by Felix Malmenbeck, the course’s lead contributor who is a fluent Klingon speaker and has been passionate about the language even before he became a fan of Star Trek.”
That being said, it wasn’t a quick process to get this going. “On our end,” said Kron, “it took some time to find Klingon experts who could commit the time and effort to creating a full-fledged course, as we wanted the course to be substantial and cover a lot of ground.” Outside of the volunteers, there were also technical challenges which cropped up:
“…Klingon uses apostrophes in the middle of words, which is not something our system was able to handle at first since no other language does it. Klingon also has case sensitivity, which means that a word can take on different meanings if it’s capitalized or lowercased.”
Thankfully, the second part wasn’t as challenging to work around as the German language already works similarly.
With the increase of use in Klingon in ‘Star Trek Discovery,’ this could be the perfect time for Trekkies to learn something new who haven’t already.
Are you planning on learning Klingon for free? Do you think this is the best use of your time in committing to a fandom? Share your thoughts below!