In the early days we all tend to think our kids sound like they’re speaking language from outer space. But d’Armond Speers went the other way. He only spoke Klingon to his son for the first three years of the boy’s life.
Yes, three years with nothing but a language that exists specifically for Trekkies to indulge their inner geekdom.
Technically, it is a real language. According to the Klingon Language Institute (no joke), a trained linguist was hired to create a language for the aliens of Star Trek. It has its own vocab, grammar and usage. Books have been published in it. You can even get tapes to learn the language.
But all this still doesn’t explain how Speers thought it would be most useful to speak nothing but Klingon to a child growing up in the Twin Cities.
Get this – he says he’s NOT a Star Trek fan. He does, however, have a doctorate in computational linguistics (according to City Pages Minneapolis/St. Paul News Blog), and he wanted to see “whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language.”
So what you’re saying, Herr Doctor, is you used your kid as part of a science experiment?
In truth, it probably wasn’t that damaging. Although it’s not a language he’ll be using at preschool, it’s no worse than teaching him English only to up and move to Indonesia or Spain when he’s three – where he suddenly has a whole new language to learn. Kids are much more adept at mastering a new tongue – both because their brains are so pliable but also because their tongues are more flexible (best thing my parents did – send me for French lessons at six; I don’t remember the language, but my accent is excellent).
But we have a feeling no one will understand him when he announces his graduation from Starfleet Academy. Although he will know many things.
What do you think? Warping or just weird?
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