[tlhIngan Hol] tlhIngan Hol DajatlhtaHvIS nItlhejpu' 'Iv? / Counting conversant speakers

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Mon May 4 22:36:54 PDT 2020

Recently it came up in conversation about whether there are "generations"
of Klingon speakers. (It came up because I have a son, who now knows a
little bit of Klingon.)

This made me think of a message I sent way back in 2013 (quoted in
entirety) below, which didn't get a lot of responses at the time. (Just
four other people supplied their info, which isn't enough to build a
detailed picture.)

Do people think of (abstract, not biological) "generations" of Klingon
speakers? For example, participants in the first few {qep'a'}s seem to form
one "generation". I have never been to a {qep'a'}, but I have met several
1st-geners in person, and I joined the mailing list quite early and have
participated several times in Lieven's qepHom'a'. So I feel like I'm a
2nd-gener. More recently, there has been something of a boom in interest in
Klingon (starting around the time Star Trek Into Darkness came out in
2013), and to me they feel a little bit like another "generation" of
speakers. (And maybe there have been multiple, but I haven't noticed.)

Does anyone else see things that way?

Anyway, I wish I had a social graph of Klingon speakers showing how people
know each other (in real life, virtually, etc.) so we can visually see what
the community connections look like.

Also, I wonder how many children of Klingon speakers also speak Klingon?
Are there any biological 3rd-generation Klingon speakers yet (and if not,
when will that happen)?

On Sat, 9 Feb 2013 at 08:51, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:

> When people find out I speak Klingon, I am sometimes asked (as I'm
> sure you all are) how many people in the world can carry out a
> conversation in it. Previously I've given an answer like "about
> 20-30", which is what the Internet claims.
> Someone suggested to me that I may actually be able to get a better
> number, since Klingon speakers are highly likely to be a tightly
> connected social graph. There's a clique[1] of KLI members (likely the
> core qep'a' attendees), then a probably larger number of people who
> have spoken with someone in the clique (but not to everyone in the
> clique), and maybe a few who are two degrees of separation away. Then
> there may be other smaller cliques like with Germany qepHom
> participants, or various other qepHommey, or Klingon clubs like
> Khomerex Klinzhai or KAG or KIDC.
> In the interest of science, and also because the list of Klingonists
> on the KLI website is outdated and no longer accessible, can everyone
> list the people with whom they've carried out a conversation in
> Klingon in person?
> By "conversation" I mean both parties spoke at least one entire
> sentence in Klingon to the other one, which was understood and replied
> to; and in turn understood and replied in Klingon in a timely fashion
> to at least one entire sentence spoken in Klingon. And by "entire
> sentence" I mean something with a properly prefixed verb (i.e., more
> than just {nuqneH?} or {Qapla'}). By "in a timely fashion" I mean
> without spending minutes composing each sentence. By "in person" I
> mean either physically face-to-face, or over the phone or Skype or
> Google+ Hangout (i.e., the conversation took place in voice, rather
> than by typing). I'm being a bit pedantic here, but I want to make
> sure everyone is talking about approximately the same thing.
> I'll start. The people I've carried out a conversation in Klingon with are:
> - Holtej
> - 'ISqu'
> - Philip Newton
> - Qanqor
> - Qov
> - Alex Greene
> - maybes: Lieven, Felix, Zrajm
> Lieven is an edge case for me, because while we spoke in Klingon to
> each other at the qepHom, there were beginners around and he paused to
> explain each sentence to them. So I don't think it counts as a proper
> conversation. But I'm sure if there were no beginners around we
> could've carried out a conversation entirely in Klingon. And also, I
> know that he has carried out a conversation entirely in Klingon with
> Qov.
> I may also have had conversations with Felix and Zrajm. I definitely
> spoke an entire sentence in Klingon to each one, and I think each one
> has spoken an entire sentence in Klingon to me. But I don't think we
> went back-and-forth in Klingon in a conversational manner, without
> mixing in sentences in English, so I'm not counting them. (Unless the
> two of you remember otherwise, in which case correct me.)
> I also had several "one-sided conversations" at the Saarbrucken qepHom
> where I spoke entirely in Klingon, and the other person replied in
> English, or sometimes even in Klingon, but only after spending several
> minutes consulting with a dictionary or with other people, so those
> don't count as "conversations" by my above definition.
> I can already make a good case for ten conversant Klingon speakers in
> the world based on just people I've spoken with, and I know of several
> more by reputation, so I'm beginning to think 20 is a low estimate,
> although it'll be interesting to see if we can reach 30.
> [1] - I mean in the graph theoretical sense (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clique_(graph_theory) ), but I suppose
> also in the social science sense. In layman's terms, there is a number
> of KLI members, each of whom has had a conversation with every other.
> --
> De'vID

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