Trekkies attend Klingon language lecture in Taipei

via @ryusei

[I don't care much for the pop culture aspects, or about linguistics of the Klingon language, but this is very interesting to me from an anthropological point of view, because of the continued existence of Klingon a constructed language around the world]

If the Klingon language took off around the time that Star Trek The Next Generation aired, that means that in the span of approximately 24 years since the TV series last aired, it has been wildly successful as a constructed language, covering the entire world, disseminated as part of a subculture where it's applied as part of a mythology and the cultural phenomenon of a collaboratively constructed universe (independently of the fiercely controlled IP rights of Rodenberry's successors)

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Recent estimates say that Esperanto has anywhere between 2 million and 10 million speakers as a second language. And Esperanto has been around since 1887. How long until Klingon matches the success of Esperanto, in a much shorter timespan?

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@h I have never before realized this, but Klingon, by not sharing a direct heritage with any pre-existing human language, rather subverting the most common aspects of them, may have a greater claim to internationality than the Internacia Lingvo itself.

@clacke in my view, tracing a parallel with computer languages, it could be said that in some way Klingon is a specific purpose constructed language, whereas Esperanto is a general purpose constructed language. That abstract openness without a cultural substrate to stand on makes Esperanto less accessible. I don't think that 2-10 million people in 130 years, in a world with 7 billion people is a breakthrough. But Klingon may be showing one possible alternative way forward.

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