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On February 2nd, open source writing platform LibreOffice 7.3 added support for two “made-up” languages: the Klingon language, and Interslavic.

According to a report from neowin.com, the decision to include Klingon and Interslavic languages is an effort to allow users to work with many languages without the need to use translation. The Klingon language was developed for the Star Trek franchise by linguist Marc Orkrand. Interslavic, on the other hand, is meant to “bridge the language gap between Slavic languages such as Russian and Polish.”

The term for a made-up language is “conlang”, short for “constructed language”.

The language update in the latest version of the LibreOffice software was added by Red Hat employee Eike Rathke. Red Hat is a German company that specializes in creating open source software for many different tasks, including cloud computing and writing. Open source programs operate similar to the way Wikipedia functions. The program can be edited to include input from numerous user-based experiences.

A statement from LibreOffice producers The Document Foundation reads, “Even if Klingon and Interslavic support sounds like a novelty, it shows how versatile free and open source software is. … LibreOffice is available in over 100 languages, and we’d like to expand that even further. The more languages the better, especially if we can help to boost IT skills in places which don’t otherwise have software in their native languages!”

The official announcement post says further, “Undeterred by the confines of a monogalactic community of translators, LibreOffice numbers are growing. Hundreds of millions of earthlings alone now have powerful tools honed in their native languages.”

The Klingons were created by screenwriter Gene L. Coon, and first appeared in the Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy“, one of the greatest TOS stories. Star Trek’s fictional space mongolians have technically had their own language since The Trouble with Tribbles way back in the original TV series, but the film series started expanding Klingon into a language during the 1980s.

The Klingon alphabet

The conlang has even raised intriguing legal questions around the question can a language can be “owned.”

(Answer, probably not.)

Soon be able to use your custom Klingon Keyboard to type out your own works. Soon you’ll be screaming ‘qo’ mey poSmoH Hol from the rooftops, or ‘language opens worlds,’ the official motto of the Klingon Language Institute (KLI)—yes, they have their own institute, that’s celebrating their 30th anniversary this year.

I’m amazed to discover that the number of Klingon speakers number in the thousands. Some even sing:

Klingon Opera

Here’s a quick guide to pronunciation:

Sample text in Klingon in pIqaD (Klingon Language alphabet)

Sample text in Klingon in pIqaD

Transliteration

noH QapmeH wo’ Qaw’lu’chugh yay chavbe’lu’, ‘ej wo’ choqmeH may’ DoHlu’chugh lujbe’lu’

Translation

Destroying an empire to win a war is no victory, and ending a battle to save an empire is no defeat.

From: The Klingon Way in pIqaD and Wikiquote

LibreOffice 7.3 is available now for Windows, OSX and Linux, and is free to all.

For more information, visit LibreOffice.org.

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David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.

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