Klingon or Esperanto?

Recently heard a rumor that Klingon had surpassed Esperanto as the most commonly spoken conlang (constructed language, sometimes called artificial language). This is a massively unlikely possibility, for reasons sketched in the Wikipedia article on Marc Okrand’s Klingon language, Meanwhile, Esperanto flourishes as a second language in large communities of users around the world, and new Esperanto translations of literature continue to appear. (I’m not an Esperantist, but a number of my friends and academic colleagues are.)

From Wikipedia:

A small number of people are capable of conversing in Klingon. Arika Okrent guessed in her book In the Land of Invented Languages that there might be 20–30 fluent speakers. Its vocabulary, heavily centered on Star Trek–Klingon concepts such as spacecraft or warfare, can sometimes make it cumbersome for everyday use.

The nature of the language’s (small) vocabulary makes it very hard to translate most material into the language; we’re not likely to get the Klingon equivalent of this new Esperanto translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

(Passed on on Facebook by Probal Dasgupta, who is an Esperantist.)

2 Responses to “Klingon or Esperanto?”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    There is, unfortunately, not enough extant Sindarin (never mind Quenya) to compete.

  2. thnidu Says:

    My synagogue’s Purim celebration (coming up next weekend) traditionally includes reading the Megillah (Book of Esther) in as many languages as we can muster, which is quite a few. They include Hebrew and Yiddish of course, most of the commonly spoken European languages, Albanian, Ladino, Mandarin, some other Chineses IIRC, and numerous others. My contributions are in Esperanto and Klingon.

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