Why A Klingon Bible?

Why A Klingon Bible?

Once anyone hears of a project to make a Klingon Bible, the question that comes up is "why?" Certainly there is no need for such a version, as there is a need for a Bible in English, Spanish, German, or any other "real" language. There is no person who would only be able to access the scriptures in Klingon.

But in the study of artificial languages, translating standard works of literature like the Bible is often done, and for two reasons. First, it is a way to exercise and develop the language, and second, it helps to develop a body of literature in that language. This literature can then be used and referred to by people learning and using the language.

For some, there can be other benefits. Though this kind of translation might seem frivolous, the work of producing such a translation can have devotional value even if the translation is never used. The effort of reading the scriptures and considering their meaning for a translation cannot fail to benefit the translator by helping him or her develop a deeper understanding of the text.

The Klingon language community has produced at least three efforts in this direction. The Klingon Language Institute (http://www.kli.org) organized a long-term project to translate the Bible. Currently on hiatus, this project has yielded only a few books, for example, the Gospel of Mark. In addition, the Rev. Glen Prochel published a book, Good News for the Warrior Race, which presents the gospels and other selected scriptures in parallel with a "Star Trek" English paraphrase.

  Lastly, the project presented here, the Klingon Language Version, is actually a relexification of the World English Bible and serves as a demonstration of what a complete Klingon Bible would look like. A table of the most frequently occurring words (used more than 100 times) was translated, word by word, into Klingon. This table was used to transform the WEB into Klingon. Though it is not a grammatical Klingon text (actually it is more of a pidgin-Klingon, mixing English vocabulary and grammar with Klingon) it does provide vocabulary which can be used in doing a proper Klingon translation.

Gospel of Mark: Klingon Language Version  KLV, World English Bible WEB, Mando'a Language Version  MND 

To look up specific passages in Klingon, English, Mando'a and Latin, use this gadget: 

Klingon Language Version Bible lookup

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The Universal Translator Assistant tool provided here is based on the same "translation" techniques:

Universal Translator Assistant

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