tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Jun 28 04:07:02 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography (was: Okrand at qep'a')

Michael Everson (

On 28 Jun 2009, at 06:34, qa'vaj wrote:

>> So! Is there scope for a spelling reform in the Latin orthography  
>> for Klingon?

> Given the noticeable advance in Unicode support and  
> internationalization over the past few years, I think this is worth  
> considering.

Thanks. I note you're not the only one.

> -- Are the options that you displayed selected so that each one can  
> be typed with a single standard internationalized keyboard from the  
> set that are provided by Linux / Windows / Mac?  Or would we need to  
> construct a special keyboard for some of them?

The many options are just that... options for discussion. If some of  
those characters were selected, sofrwa

> -- How would words be sorted in each? (that is, what would the sort  
> order be of words in each option compared to the sort order implied  
> by the usual order in which the Klingon alphabet is listed).

How the sorting works depends on the software that is doing the sorting.

> I take it that the presumption in your proposal is that the PUA is  
> unworkable, and we'll never get our own ligit code point  
> allocation.  But some other options occur to me that may be worth  
> putting on the table:

I wouldn't use the PUA unless there were no alternative (as with the  

> (Wild and crazy option): How close can we come to something that  
> looks like the KLI typeface by selecting glyphs from across the  
> unicode map?

*looks around for a disruptor*

> We would have to use a specially-constructed keyboard (not that  
> hard, I've done it for both Windows and Linux), and the sort order  
> would be pot-luck, and it might come out looking like a movie- 
> cliche' ransom note, but I'm curious what the result would look like.

I think (but would have to check) that a lot of the capital letters  
used in Standard Klingon Latin orthography are available as small-caps  
characters for various phonetic purposes. Offhand I'd wager that Q is  
not one of those though!

> (Possibly workable option): We Klingonist might collectively agree  
> that we'll do without being able to routinely browse pages in  
> Glagolitic or some other ancient script, and overload the code  
> points with our own typeface (KLI pIqaD).  It would be nice to  
> select a code set allocation that web browsers and applications  
> would automatically identify.  That way we could preserve sort  
> order, and the software tools would be none the wiser.

I at least cannot support this. You'd just be offering into the  
Internet a lot of data in Klingon that people searching for Slavic  
text in Glagolitic would discover. Ick.

Michael Everson *

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