Klingon language

constructed language created for ''Star Trek''

The Klingon language (tlhIngan Hol, ˈt͡ɬɪ.ŋɑn xol) is a language that was made for the Klingons in the Star Trek universe. It is a constructed language, not one that developed naturally. Only a few people can speak the Klingon language well enough to talk in it. The Klingon Language Institute helps people learn Klingon.

tlhIngan Hol
Pronunciationˈt͡ɬɪ.ŋɑn xol
Created byMarc Okrand, James Doohan, Jon Povill
Setting and usageStar Trek films and television series (TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery), the opera ʼuʼ and the Klingon Christmas Carol play.
Users(Around a dozen fluent speakers cited 1996)[1]
Latin script (Klingon alphabet)
Klingon script
SourcesConstructed languages
 A priori languages
Official status
Regulated byMarc Okrand
Language codes
ISO 639-2tlh
ISO 639-3tlh
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.


The first Klingon words were made by the actor James Doohan in 1979 for the first Star Trek movie. When they made the third movie in 1984, Gene Roddenberry wanted to have a real language for the Klingons. So it was the linguist (a language scientist) Marc Okrand who made the Klingon language. He has written some books about the Klingon language.


The Klingon language feels like talking backwards. Marc Okrand wanted the language to be as complicated as possible. He did this to make it sound very extraterrestrial. The word order in a sentence is always object-verb-subject. So the English sentence "I see the cat" is said as "the cat see I" in Klingon.

This language uses affixation to denote the subject and negation:

Klingon English
qet run
maqet we run
maqetbe’ we do not run


When writing in Klingon, some letters are always in uppercase and some are lowercase. This never changes because the letters are spoken differently when they are written differently.

Latin transcription Klingon script IPA
a   /ɑ/
b   /b/
ch   /t͡ʃ/
D   /ɖ/
e   /ɛ/
gh   /ɣ/
H   /x/
I   /ɪ/
j   /d͡ʒ/
l   /l/
m   /m/
n   /n/
ng   /ŋ/
o   /o/
p   /pʰ/
q   /qʰ/
Q   /q͡χ/
r   /r/
S   /ʂ/
t   /tʰ/
tlh   /t͡ɬ/
u   /u/
v   /v/
w   /w/
y   /j/
ʼ   /ʔ/