It is a good day to Bing: Microsoft adds Klingon support

Hab SoSlI’ Quch!

Don’t know what that means? Don’t fret. Microsoft and its search engine Bing have you covered. The company announced this week that it’s adding Klingon to the languages available at Bing Translator on the Web and in its Windows Phone 8 app. The Los Angeles Times says the move is part of a marketing partnership between Microsoft and Paramount Pictures, which is releasing the latest addition to the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness, this Friday.

Translations will be available for converting any of the 41 languages supported by the translator into Klingon, and vice versa.

When developing Klingon for its translator, Bing turned to Microsoft engineer Eric Andeen, who reportedly is one of the few people in the world that speaks the alien tongue.

Klingon was developed by Marc Okrand, a University of California, Berkeley linguist who created the language from a few words uttered by James Doohan, best known as Scotty from the original Star Trek. Okrand’s Klingon first appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

The linguist turned his Klingon sideline into a cottage industry. He wrote the The Klingon Dictionary in 1985, and added a revised edition in 1992. That same year, he joined Michael Dorn to produce the audio cassette “Conversational Klingon,” which was followed by another audio offering “Power Klingon.” Okrand also published a book of Klingon proverbs, The Klingon Way, in 1996 and a study of Klingon language diversity, technical terminology, idioms and slang in 1997’s Klingon for the Galactic Traveler.

Since Okrand introduced Klingon, constructed languages have become familiar fare in movies and TV shows. In fact, in the new television series Defiance, several alien languages were created for the show. There’s even an organization that helps fiction creators with their constructed language efforts.

As for Hab SoSlI’ Quch!, Bing will tell you that it means your mother has a smooth forehead. But don’t say it around your Klingon friends unless you’re ready for a fight.

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