tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jul 28 07:18:35 1999
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>Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 16:46:10 -0600
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>From: Ed Heil <edheil@POSTMARK.NET>
>To: Multiple recipients of list CONLANG <CONLANG@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
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>>From _The Onion_:
>KLINGON SPEAKERS OUTNUMBER NAVAJO SPEAKERS
> NEW YORK--According to a report released Monday by the Modern
>Language Association, speakers of the Star Trek-based Klingon language
>outnumber individuals fluent in Navajo by a margin of more than
> "Navajo, a 3,000-year-old Native American tonal language
>belonging to the Athabaskan/Na-Dené group of tongues, is clearly dying
>and will likely be extinct by 2010," MLA president Frederick Toback
>said. "Fortunately, though, the sad, steady decline of this once-proud
>Native American tongue has been more than offset by a rising interest
>in Klingon culture."
> Klingon speakers said they are pleased with the report. "Every
>day, more and more people are discovering the excitement and challenge
>of Klingon, or, as it's called by native speakers, tlhIngan-Hol," said
>Doug "HoD trI'Qal" Petersen, an official grammarian at the Klingon
>Language Institute. "After just a few weeks of studying Klingon, you,
>too will be saying 'qo' mey poSmoH Hol!'"
> "For those new to the language," Petersen continued, "a
>terrific place to start is Marc Okrand's The Klingon Dictionary,
>published by Pocket Books. After that, I'd suggest The Klingon Way,
>also by Okrand. A marvelous guide to all things Klingon, it contains
>everything from recipes for Durani lizard skins to the proper way to
>address a B'rel Scout to the complete lyrics to The Warrior's Anthem."
> As membership in the KLI continues to swell, the Navajo
>population, whose lands occupy approximately 25,000 square miles in
>the four corners of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, has
>dwindled to 150,000.
> "Our people are chained to the terrible suffering of our past
>like a falcon without wings," said Daniel Littlefoot, president of the
>Navajo Nation. "We consume alcohol and it, in turn, consumes us."
> With the surge of interest in Klingon has come a corresponding
>surge in publishing. Klingon-language editions of The Iliad, Hamlet
>and The Bible are now available, as well as the classic Klingon tale
>The Eyes Of Kahless.
> "More than 200 titles are currently available, with more on the
>way all the time," said Bob "nIteb'Ha" Janowitz, editor of HolQeD, a
>quarterly Klingon literary journal. "It truly is a booming industry."
> Though the basics of Navajo are still taught in some
>reservation schools, and the language is spoken ceremonially at tribal
>council meetings, most Navajos do not bother to retain their knowledge
>after leaving school.
> Above: One of the many learn-to-speak-Klingon interactive CD-ROMs
>currently on the market. "The number of truly fluent Navajo
>speakers stands at less than a thousand," Littlefoot said. "And of
>these thousand, only a handful are less than 60 years old. Within a
>generation, our 4,000-year-old tongue will be dust."
> "We have people from all walks of life here," said Jennifer
>"pekaQ" Proehl, a member of the Klingon Language Institute's High
>Council. "Students, computer programmers, salespeople--all of them
>banding together in the proud Klingon tradition."
> According to Proehl, the Klingon language is just one part of a
>thriving Klingon culture. KLI members practice Klingon martial arts,
>participate in Klingon singing and storytelling sessions, and even
>perform spiritual ceremonies derived from the various Star Trek
>television series and films.
> "What's happening with the Klingon language is extremely
>exciting," MLA associate director Stephen Hogue said. "If its
>popularity continues to grow at the current rate, we may consider
>giving certain Klingon-speaking groups financial support in the form
>of grants and special-interest funding. Increasingly, the MLA is
>diverting funds from dying languages like Navajo to vibrant, emergent
>ones such as Klingon."
> "I know this is my home, but there isn't anything here for me,"
>said unemployed Navajo nation member Leonard Murphy, 22, who dropped
>out of school at 14 and remembers little of the Navajo he learned in
>elementary school. "Everyone's leaving, getting off the reservation.
>Now there's nothing to do here except drink beer and watch Star Trek."
>(Note: The Onion is a parody newspaper, and while it tends to hit painfully
>close to home, statistics and quotes and so on are as likely as not to be
>completely made up.)
>Ed Heil ------------------------------- firstname.lastname@example.org