Hey kids, gather around, we’re going to have some fun today! Or, as we’d like to say this week, “Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam!” A popular German kids show is bringing young ensigns into the Star Trek family, introducing its latest episode entirely in Klingon. Qapla’!
Die Sendung mit der Maus, or The Show with the Mouse, is a German children’s show that’s been around since the ‘70s. Every episode, the topics of the week are introduced twice— once in German, and then in another language. Traditionally, it was Turkish, Spanish, and Italian, to include the children of foreign guest workers. But nowadays, the show has been introducing audiences to other, more obscure languages. This week, it was Klingon. Lieven L. Litaer, better known as the Klingon Teacher, provided the narration for this week’s translation. And I’ve got to say, it’s pretty hardcore watching a tiny mouse prance around as a Klingon yells the stories of the day.
Professional linguist Marc Okrand first developed the Klingon language in the 1980s, drawing inspiration from the phrases used in the 1979 release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (beforehand, Klingons only spoke English). It’s since blossomed into a thriving international language with thousands of speakers across the world. There’s a Klingon translation of the Bible, an annual performance of A Klingon Christmas Carol. There’s even a Klingon Duolingo language course, which will be available in August.