Friday, November 30, 2007


On the most recent episode of 'Chuck', he was being held hostage by a member of Fulcrum and Agents John Casey and Sarah Walker were at a loss as to how to proceed. However, Chuck's old friend and nemesis (yeah, his frienemy) Bryce Larkin knew exactly what to do.

Using the Klingon language, he asked Chuck if he was wearing a vest. When Chuck said yes, he also used Klingon.

And then Bryce shot him in the chest.

This wasn't the first time a language that shouldn't be spoken on Earth for another two hundred years at least has been heard in Toobworld in the 21st Century:

A 2004 episode of 'My Wife And Kids'.
In the bowling alley, Junior uses the Klingon language to ward off a rude man dressed in a Star Trek outfit who had just pushed in the line.

In the 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' episode "Seeing Red", which first aired May 7, 2002, Xander unwittingly reveals his knowledge of Klingon when he instantly determines the language used in some of The Nerds' papers.

The sixth episode of the tenth season of 'Frasier', "Star-Mitzvah", which first aired November 5, 2002, had Frasier reading a short blessing in Klingon at his son's Bar Mitzvah having been tricked into believing it was Hebrew.

In "Witch Hunt", an 'NCIS' episode, agents raid a fancy dress party where a person is dressed as a Klingon. He insults Special Agent Gibbs by saying Hab SoSlI' Quch!.

McGee translates this to "Your mother has a smooth forehead" and reveals he speaks Klingon, but not fluently.

In 2004 'ER' Episode 220 (10.19), "Just a Touch", which first aired April 22, 2004, Abby must deal with half a dozen psychiatric patients, and one of them speaks only Klingon.

In 2002 'Farscape' Episode 10401 (4.1), "Crichton Kicks", John Crichton shouts a Klingon offense at a group of invaders before stating to Sikozu, "You didn't get that? Yeah, 'cause it's Klingon!"

In 'The Big Bang Theory', the character Howard Wolowitz can speak six languages, including Klingon.

It has also been spoken in the Tooniverse:

In the 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' episode "Super Computer," Frylock names the computer he invented the "OoGhiJ MIQtxxXA" which he claims is Klingon for "Superior Galactic Intelligence." While the second word has no meaning in Okrand's Klingon, the first word is similar orthographically to the Klingon word QoghIj "brain".

The character The Comic Book Guy from 'The Simpsons' claims to have translated The Lord of the Rings into Klingon as part of his thesis.

In "Passion of the Jew", an episode of 'South Park' which first aired March 31, 2004, when Mel Gibson goes on his rampage, he also shouts Qapla'!

In the 2004 'The Simpsons' episode 330 (15.17), "My Big Fat Geek Wedding", an altar can be seen on a SciFi convention, bearing the engraved letters love from the Klingon pIqaD alphabet. However, this is not an actual word in Klingon.

[All according to Wikipedia]

'Star Trek' (including all of its spin-offs) is the most Zonked TV series in tele-history. I think the only one that might come close could be 'The Twilight Zone'. Just last week on 'Numb3rs', a cardboard cut-out of William Shatner as Captain Kirk - and a conventioneer dressed as Captain Picard - were seen at a comic book convention in the episode "Graphic".

And yet the events of 'Star Trek', beginning with 'Enterprise', shouldn't be occurring until the 23rd Century at the very least. What would be historical events to the world of 'Trek' are happening all the time, but characters within other TV shows shouldn't know about 'Star Trek' as a TV show because it's supposed to be their actual future.

So how can this Zonk be beamed out of here?

There's only one possible solution:

Somebody from the Future traveled back in Time to the early 1960s and gave Gene
Roddenberry the information he needed to create the series, basing it on events that will actually take place in the Future. Perhaps the Time Traveler did this in an attempt to destroy that very Future; we'll never know. But that's how the people of Toobworld can watch TV shows about real events that haven't even happened yet.

So not only is there a Captain Kirk, there's also William Shatner playing Captain Kirk. And based on the knowledge he had been given about the future, Roddenberry obviously cast him because of his resemblance to the real James T. Kirk.

By the way, Bryce asked Chuck in Klingon if he was wearing a vest. Apparently, there is no official Klingon word yet for "vest". (Oddly enough, there is a word for "pajamas" - "nlvnav".)

Perhaps Marc Okrand came up with one for the producers' use. But the closest they could have come using already established terms might have been "Hlp begh" - "uniform deflectors".

Yes. I'm a geek. Well, at the very least I know where to go to look this stuff up.

For many of the TV show references to 'Star Trek' in other shows, visit this
Memory Alpha page.

And so it goes.

jaH lel!
Toby OB


Qov said...

majQa'. That's an impressive list of Klingon language references.

SuStel said...

Actually, there is a way to say vest:

...[O]ne needs to be careful in talking about certain articles of clothing. In the First City, and in most places in the Empire, wep means "jacket, coat" and yIvbeH means "tunic"—that is, a shirt or shirtlike garment with or without sleeves. In the Vospeg (voSpegh) region, on the other hand, yIvbeH refers only to a sleeveless shirt (thus retaining much of the word's original meaning, a sleeveless protective garment worn by warriors), wep means a shirt with sleeves, and any jacket or coat is a cheSvel, a word that elsewhere refers to a specific style of coat associated with, not surprisingly, the Vospeg region.
——Klingon for the Galactic Traveler, pp. 29–30

Toby said...

SuStel, I'm hoping you check back in!

Is there a word for armor? I couldn't find that in any of the Okrand-based sites I visited.

I'm thinking "armored tunic" would work to create a Klingon word to substitute for "bullet-proof vest".

And is the term Klinzhai ever used anymore?

Qov said...

I don't know if SuStel is checking back, but yoD is shield, and yoD Sut ("shield clothing") is understandable as armour. In context I would understand yoD yIvbeH as bulletproof vest. The same phrase would also refer to a chainmail tunic or other torso armour.

Seeing as the English dialogue "vest" referred to a bulletproof vest by association, the Klingon speaking officers could say:

yIvbeHlIj DatuQtaH'a'
(Are you wearing your tunic?)


And the scene continues. The officer is smart enough to know his partner isn't inquiring about his Batman undershirt.

Toby said...

Thanks, Qov!