Klingon Language Certification Program


The Klingon Language Certification Program is designed to recognize KLI members for their achievements in learning Klingon. The program defines four levels of certification, from Beginner ( taghwI') to Grammarian ( pab pIn). Certification is awarded based upon performance on written tests, administered by representatives of the KLI. Testing is available for free to all active KLI members.

The goals of the KLCP are:

  1. Officially recognize members for their skills with the language
  2. Encourage members in their study of Klingon
  3. Define a graded program for learning Klingon
  4. Provide credentials for Linguistics Officers ( HolpIn) for fan clubs
  5. Support the KLI by encouraging membership

Certification Levels (Hol patlh)

There are four certification levels in the Certification Program. By default, all current and incoming KLI members will initially be given the rank of chu'wI'"Newcomer." As a member successfully completes certification exams, subsequent ranks will be assigned:

  1. Beginner taghwI'
  2. Intermediate ghojwI'
  3. Advanced po'wI'
  4. Grammarian pab pIn

The KLI will officially recommend that Language Officers for Klingon organizations achieve the level of ghojwI'(although Hol patlh po'wI' is preferred.)

In order to prepare members for certification exams, the above certification guidelines have been developed. These guidelines describe the language skills required to successfully complete each level of certification, and also give some sample questions for each area. The guidelines will serve further to define the graded program for learning Klingon.

Testing Materials

The testing materials developed by the KLI are collected into a test bank. The bank consists of four levels (for each Hol patlh). Each section of the test bank contains no less than 100 questions. A test will be composed by randomly selecting questions from the test bank.

The tests for each level may be different. See the above Certification Guidelines for specific information on the contents of each test.

Test Administration

All tests will be administered by a representative of the KLI, officially recognized proctors (Duy). A Duy need not have achieved any specific Hol patlh. There is a time limit of one hour for each exam. The Duy will ensure that no reference materials are used during the test, that no cheating takes place, and all testing procedures are followed. Completed exams will be collected by the Duy and returned to the KLI.

Tests for the first three Hol patlh will be graded by a chovwI', an officially recognized grader who has achieved the level of (at least) po'wI'. If the test administrator ( Duy) is also a chovwI', the tests can be graded and the assignment of Hol patlhcan be given immediately after the examination.

A grade of 80% is required to pass each exam (for levels I-III). If a candidate does not pass the test, the candidate must wait 24 hours before taking the exam again. New versions of tests should be generated from the test bank for candidates who re-take an exam.

Only Grammarians will grade grammarian tests. A committee of three grammarians will grade the test, and each will cast a pass/fail vote. If the candidate receives two passing votes, the candidate passes the test, and is awarded the rank pab pIn.

The administrative overhead of generating tests, scheduling exam times, and returning tests for grading suggests that these exams should be carefully planned in advance, and perhaps that all test-takers register for the exam in advance (where possible; it is recognized that some venues may not allow this). The main venue for testing will be the annual qep'a', but we certainly encourage testing at other venues, such as at qepHommey, and any other events where a Test Administrator (a Duy) can make appropriate arrangements (such as fan club meetings, conventions, etc.).

Arranging to take/give an exam

Certification exams are administered by representatives of the KLI.  The main venue for giving exams is the KLI's annual meeting, the qep'a'.   However, it is possible to make other arrangements.  If you are a member of a Klingon group or club, you can arrange to have your group's Language Officer (other other appropriate representative) become a KLCP Duy ("representative").  The Duy can then contact the KLI for tests, and send them back to the KLI for scoring and certification awards.  To have your group's Language Officer become a Duy, this person must first achieve the rank of Hol patlh ghojwI' "intermediate."  Once this certification rank is achieved, then the representative can contact the KLI and request to become a Duy, and arrange to have tests provided for certification exams.

From time to time, members of the KLI attend conventions, and it may be possible to have certification exams administered at these conventions.   If you would like to take a test at a convention, contact the KLI and see whether KLCP exams are scheduled to be given at the convention; if not, it may be possible to make such arrangements.

Question Format

The questions will either be translation, fill-in-the-blank, or require answers to questions about grammar. An example of each type is provided here.

Translation1a.Translate the following sentence:
  SuS'a'mo' pum Sorvetlh
  ["That tree fell because of the powerful wind."]
 1b.Translate the following sentence:
  "The guard chased the prisoner out of the jail."
  [bIghHa'vo' qama' tlha' 'avwI']
Fill-in-the-blank2a.Don't speak!
 2b.ya ghaH wo'rIv'e'
  Worf is the __________.
  ["tactical officer"]
Grammar3a.What is the connotation of using -mey with a noun capable of language?
  [scattered all about]
 3b.What is the connotation of using a general possessive suffix on a noun capable of language?

In the po'wI' "advanced" tests, there will also be questions on reading comprehension. The test will include a short story, followed by 5 questions about the events described in the story.

In the pab pIn "grammarian" test, the questions take on a different form. The test taker is asked to judge the grammaticality of sentences, and explain any problems in the grammar. The test for this level also includes essay questions.