Popular language tutorial app Duolingo has just added a new language. No, it’s not Japanese (as people have been clamoring over for some time). In fact, this language didn’t even exist 40 years ago.
Duolingo wants to teach you Klingon.
Yep, the language of the Klingons, which first appeared in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, will soon be an option on the app. Lest you think this is a joke, do remember that Klingon isn’t a “fictional” language. Sure, it was spawned from a work of fiction – but it’s a real language created by linguist Marc Okrand.
— Duolingo (@duolingo) April 9, 2015
“Klingon is the constructed language spoken by the fictional extraterrestrial Klingon species in the Star Trek universe. Created by Marc Okrand, the language itself is centered around spacecraft, warfare, and weaponry — but it also reflects the directness and sense of humor of the Klingon culture. For example, the closest word you can use to express ‘hello’ is ‘nuqneH,’ which actually means ‘What do you want?’. There are also plenty of insults, as it is considered an art form. The mastery of Klingon is extremely uncommon on Earth. Join the galactic elite and start learning this fascinating language,” says Duolingo.
According to the company, one user is creating the entire course.
On Thursday, Duolingo co-founder Luis von Ahn said the company had “started building a course to learn Klingon”, so the timeframe for the course’s release is uncertain. If you want to be notified when the Klingon course is ready, head here.
Are you excited to learn Klingon? Well, some people aren’t. Comments on reddit and Twitter show many are miffed about Duolingo’s decision to build a Klingon course before, oh let’s say, Japanese (or many other widely-spoken languages).
“Why Klingon, as opposed to another real-world language that you don’t already cover? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome and I’m not trying to harsh your groove, but I am curious what prompted this particular application of resources,” asks one commenter.
“This is fucking dumb. Put your effort into real languages. What next, Elvish? Where’s the Greek?” says another.
Can’t please everyone, it seems.
Image via Wikimedia Commons