tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Apr 29 21:56:48 2005
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Re: [discuss] Re: Klingon for OpenOffice.org is now abandoned
On Thursday 28 April 2005 17:49, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> Christian Einfeldt wrote:
> > That depends on what century you are in. In later centuries,
> > the Klingons were part of the federation.
> What??? Are you sure? In which century was that? Certainly not
> in the TNG series.
Let me check on that. I do think that it was shown to be the case
during the last series, the Enterprise series, during one of
Archer's trips to the distant future.
> > But I guess also I must confess that I don't mind tweaking the
> > Klingonists just a bit for their apathy and laziness in not
> > wanting to localize OOo for Klingon. There doesn't seem to be
> > much honor in that kind of laziness.
> You have to admit that the endeavour was not particularly useful.
It was actually a learning experience, at least for me. I thought
that the Klingonists would be excited to be able to have an office
suite in Klingon, because the Klingonists are always trying to do
different things to make Klingon more widely used.
Instead, I found that I was seen as an OOo zealot who just showed up
on the KLI list one day trumpeting the benefits of OOo, and I think
that I made a huge mistake in that regard. I learned that the KLI
Klingonists are an intensely scholarly group whose primary interest
is sharing their passion for reading, writing, and speaking
On this OOo list, we sometimes talk about troubles we have bringing
newbies into the group. Sometimes we are critical of members of
the OOo group who are too harsh on newbies. My experience with the
Klingonists is that you really need to lurk a while and learn quite
a bit about a group before proposing new initiatives with that
group. I think that the KLI Klingonists were just not interested
in using OOo; but I also think that I appeared to be too brash, and
so I didn't increase the likelihood of adoption with the KLI with
However, as time goes by, maybe another Klingonist will hear of OOo,
and perhaps Gerry Singleton and I planted a seed with one or two
Klingonists who will later take interest in localizing OOo for
So actually, yes, I do think that endeavor was useful. We have
approached a community of linguists who have developed an
artificially created language; we've educated them a bit about the
existence of OOo; and we've learned that it is best to be
proficient speaker of a group who is respected within that group,
or to approach such a person in a group, rather than just show up
on their doorstep offering what is perceived by them as practically
spam sales, even though no money is sought.
We have also learned that Paramount has a proprietary interest in
some materials associated with Klingon; and that it is best to deal
with an organization such as the KLI that has negotiated with
Paramount to get permission from Paramount to use its intellectual
property or do the negotiating yourself.
We also learned a bit about Klingon itself; that it is the only full
blown language to emerge out of the Star Trek series; that all the
other languages were only language stubs; that Klingon is regarded
by Klingonists as being difficult to learn; that Klingon has been
translated to major literary works such as some of the works of
Shakespeare; that there is a "native" Klingon character set, but
very very few Klingonists communicate using that character set, but
rather use the basic European alphabet to write Klingon; and that
it takes a major sustained effort by dedicated linguists to
enhancing Klingon and keeping it alive.
We also learned that a localization is a massive project; that it
takes dedication and hours of work by highly skilled and educated
people; that you need to have someone who can 1) run a web site,
like Gerry Singleton did; 2) someone who is sufficiently familiar
with computers to be able to determine what word strings need to be
translated; 3) that in the case of Klingon, there will be
disagreements as to words like "window" [in the context of a
computer window, not a window in a house] 4) that similar
disagreements will probably exist in most localization projects, so
you need to have a good social organization so that people in the
group will be able to process these disagreements and come to
concensus so as to not cause strife in the group; 5) that you
probably need to have someone who can sometimes drop other tasks to
attend to issues such as organizing meetings on line, or even
better, in person; 6) that it helps to have an actual nation-state
of geographically centrally located people who have close regular
daily contact with one another [Klingonists are dispersed across
I personally felt that this last item (lack of a nation-state) was
probably the biggest hurdle to localization of Klingon.
Klingonists, being Klingonists, are intensely proud of their
language and take great pride in the fact that it is actually a
real language. However, that pride is not sufficient to overcome
the fact that no one uses Klingon to build bridges; or raise
families (although I did hear of one family where the kids could
speak Klingon); or bury their dead; or raise crops; or raise an
army; or discuss their common ancestory or religion. As a result
of the lack of these factors, there was not the same sense of
national identity that is required to overcome the significant
hurdles of localizing a language.
In other words, I think that we learned that localization is a
really big deal, and those native lang projects which have
accomplished it are to be commended for a major accomplishment.
Another important thing that we learned is that we have at least
tried to contact an language group like this. At least we didn't
just sit back and discuss it but not do anything about it. We
tried, we failed to achieve our goal of localization, at least in
the short term, and so now we wait for contact from a Klingonist
who has the skill and respect from within the Klingon community,
because without that, you will never achieve a localization of