The Klingon Dictionary

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The Klingon Dictionary
Second edition cover
AuthorMarc Okrand
CountryUnited States
SubjectScience Fiction / Linguistics
PublisherPocket Books
Publication date
1985, extended 1992
Media typePrint (Paperback)
Pages191 pp.
Followed byThe Klingon Way 

The Klingon Dictionary (TKD) is a book by Marc Okrand describing the Klingon language. First published in 1985 and then again with an addendum in 1992, it includes pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. It has sold more than three hundred thousand copies [1] and has been translated into five languages.

The book is a description of the grammar with a few examples for every rule. It is not suitable for active learning and practice of the language, because it does not contain any exercises. It has never been intended as a learning book. Its source was intended as a guide for scriptwriters and actors. It was only later sold for merchandising for Star Trek fans.[2]


The dictionary is written from an in-universe perspective. After a brief introduction about the Klingon culture and also how the book has been written, the pronunciation of the Klingon letters is described. Instead of using phonetic symbols, the letters of the Latin alphabet are used, some of them written in upper case to distinguish special pronunciations. For instance, q and Q represent different voiceless uvular consonants, the voiceless uvular affricate and the voiceless uvular plosive, respectively. The largest part of the book is a description of the grammar, including briefly described rules sorted by type of words, accompanied by a few examples for each grammatical topic. The last part of the book contains a list of vocabulary with roughly 1,500 words, followed by a list of useful phrases. The addendum of 1992 contains some new grammatical details and a list of about 200 new words that appeared in or were created for later movies and in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Digital editions[edit]

Since 2008, the book is available for E-book readers.[3]

In 2009, publisher Simon & Schuster introduced an iPhone application version of The Klingon Dictionary as part of three applications rolled into a Klingon Language Suite. The new digital format features a precise pronunciation guide, rules for proper use of affixes and suffixes, and a search menu.


The dictionary was first translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil in 1995. Its title was simply Dicionário da língua klingon.

The following translation was German in 1996 bearing the title Das offizielle Wörterbuch Klingonisch/Deutsch ("The Official Klingon-German Dictionary"). That book contains many typos and incorrect translations, which can be misleading when learning the language.[4] A revised version, corrected by Klingon teacher Lieven Litaer, was released in 2013.

The Italian translation was published in 1998 by the Roman publisher Fanucci Editore and named Il dizionario Klingon-Italiano ("The Klingon-Italian Dictionary").

In 2008, the dictionary was translated into Czech with the title Klingonský slovník (Klingon Dictionary).

There is an online 1998–2009 Swedish translation, Klingonsk ordbok, (with Swedish examples and with additional material from later canonical works[5]) to be found at the Klingonska Akademien website.[6]


  • In the season 2 episode "The Panty Piñata Polarization" of The Big Bang Theory, the dictionary is being used during a game of Klingon Boggle.
  • In the season 10 episode 7 of The Big Bang Theory, while Sheldon and Amy are having supper with Leonard and Penny, Sheldon speaks Klingon with Leonard to hide what they are speaking about in front of the girls.

Follow up[edit]

New vocabulary and grammar rules, published after 1992, can be found in two audio-courses and two more books by Marc Okrand, and in the scholarly journal HolQeD published by the Klingon Language Institute (1992-2004):

  • Conversational Klingon (1992) - audiocourse
  • Power Klingon (1993) - audiocourse
  • The Klingon Way (1996)[7]
  • Klingon for the Galactic Traveler (1997).[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Okrent, Arika (2009). In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language. Spiegel & Grau. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-385-52788-0.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2013-03-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "The Star Trek: The Klingon Dictionary eBook: Marc Okrand: Kindle-Shop" (in German). 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  4. ^ " - Liste der Fehler im Deutschen Wörterbuch" (in German). Deutsches Klingonisch-Institut. 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  5. ^ ""Canonical sources", Klingon Language Institute Wiki". Archived from the original on 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  6. ^ Klingonsk ordbok. Arbetskopia
  7. ^ Krankor, Captain (June 1996). "From the Grammarian's Desk". HolQeD. The Journal of the Klingon Language Institute. 5 (2 (18)): 2–6. ISSN 1061-2327.
  8. ^ Shoulson, Mark (September 1997). "A Review: Klingon for the Galactic Traveller by Marc Okrand". HolQeD. The Journal of the Klingon Language Institute. 6 (3 (23)): 15–16. ISSN 1061-2327.

External links[edit]