Klingon (was: RFC 1766 language tags

From: John Cowan (john_cowan@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Jun 16 1997 - 16:16:44 EDT

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Siobhan Harper-Jones asks:

> Do the books use a romanized transcription, or do
> they use the pseudo-Tibetan letters I've seen in the movies to
> indicate the Klingon alphabet? I've always wondered if the movies
> just used random letters to set a "Klingon" tone, or went to the
> trouble of creating an alphabet.

The book are written using the Klingon variety of the Latin
alphabet, which is the only fully standard way of writing Klingon.
The alphabet is monocase, and uses the characters a b ch D e gh H I j l
m n ng o p q Q r S t tlh u v w y ' (glottal stop). The odd case mapping
was made by the designer of the language.

The fonts used in the movies and on television are just used for
artistic purposes; the texts are actually pseudo-texts, and aren't
relatable to the Klingon language in any way.

There does exist a semi-standard mapping between the glyphs of
the Qo'noS font, the most commonly (and recently) used Klingon font,
and the phonemes of Klingon. This mapping has been ratified by
the Klingon Language Institute (http://www.kli.org), which
operates under a license from, but independently of, Paramount.
This mapping is documented at the Klingon page of the ConScript
Unicode Registry at:

  http://www.ccil.org/~cowan/csur/klingon.html in North America,
  http://www.indigo.ie/egt/standards/csur/klingon.html in Europe.

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