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Promoting #StarfleetGala in glorious Klingon!


Here at Acart, we are no strangers to multicultural advertising. In our recent campaign for Elections Canada, we communicated with Canadians in 34 different languages. But we had never done an extraterrestrial language adaptation.

Until now:

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Those of you familiar with the Star Trek franchise will recognize this as Klingon. Those familiar with Klingon will understand that this text describes the Starfleet Gala, a fundraising event for the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. We’ve partnered with the CASM to promote the world premiere of Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience this summer, and the May 12 event is the launch party.

It’s even being attended by Captain James T Kirk himself, William Shatner!

Other guests of honour are Rene Auberjonois (“Odo” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and John de Lancie (“Q” in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager). Tickets are still available, and you can buy them here.

We decided to create a Klingon page for the site as a fun way to engage hardcore Trekkers, as well as a a bit of an Ottawa in-joke.

As a federal institution, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum operates in both of Canada’s official languages, English and French. Canadians, and particularly the many Ottawa residents who work for—or with—the Government of Canada are used to doing all things in two languages.

Since this event is for “Starfleet,” we thought it would be fun to include a third language option on the splash page:

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Like the Elvish in Lord of The Rings, Klingon is a fully-realized invented fantasy language with complex grammar and cultural nuances. It evolved during the development of the Star Trek movies in the 1980s, and was fully realized for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Here’s an example from the 1991 film, Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country.

To get the Klingon right, we worked with qurgh lungqIj (AKA Chris Lipscombe) of the Klingon Language Institute. qurgh helped us with the content, the grammar, and the complicated business of getting the font right on the web.

If you want to impress your friends, this is what it says:

At the Starfleet feast humans will speak and there will be alcohol

While May 12th happens, at the building that contains ancient Terran atmosphere ships and ships that don’t have warp cores, the feast will happen.

Important Human Speaker: Starfleet Admiral James T Kirk

Additional speakers that aren’t Klingon:

The “one-that-changes-themselves” known as Odo

The humanoid known as Q

This is a special opportunity. You can watch modern Terrans using the future Federation’s advanced technology

In order to meet Kirk (no combat permitted) and to visit the Starfleet Academy Experience (a project to find modern Terrans and send them to the future), you need to be an important guest.

Do not participate in blood oaths on Terra! Also do not participate in mating rituals!

Remove your weapons at the door!

In order for you to purchase tickets, use this primitive computer.

This may be the first time that a national museum has promoted an event in a extraterrestrial language. It has already been added to the Klingon Language Wiki.

Stay tuned for more Star Trek news in the weeks ahead.

Feature image via Wikimedia

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