(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Klingonese (also known more commonly as "Klingon") was the language used by the Klingon species and throughout the Klingon Empire. It was boasted that half the quadrant was learning the language by the mid-23rd century. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")
The Klingon language contained eighty poly-guttural dialects constructed on an adaptive syntax. The first Human to become fluent in it was Hoshi Sato in 2151, who learned from a linguistic database provided by the Vulcans. (ENT: "Broken Bow") Sato once remarked that a book given to her by Tarquin, written by a civilization over a thousand years dead, was in a language very similar to Medieval Klingon. (ENT: "Exile")
Arturis, who knew over four thousand languages, described Klingon as a robust language. In fact, B'Elanna Torres stated that she found the language a little too robust for her taste. (VOY: "Hope and Fear") It was not however an immutable language. It was constantly changing to meet the needs and aspirations of the people. In the mid-24th century, the word "peacemaker" appeared for the first time in Klingonese after the negotiations mediated by Riva between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets took place. (TNG: "Loud As A Whisper") Still, as of the late 24th century, there did not seem to be a Klingon word for "jolly". (TNG: "Parallels")
By the late-23rd century, several Federation authors wrote books on learning the Klingon language. Uhura had several on hand aboard the Enterprise-A in 2293 when she had to convince a Klingon patrol post that they were the Klingon freighter Ursva, including Introduction to Klingon Grammar. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Non-Klingon speakers of Klingonese
- Curzon Dax
- Ezri Dax
- Jadzia Dax
- Emergency Medical Hologram
- Sito Jaxa
- Elim Garak
- Kathryn Janeway
- James T. Kirk
- Melora Pazlar
- Jean-Luc Picard
- William T. Riker
- Hoshi Sato
- Montgomery Scott
- Benjamin Sisko
Kathryn Janeway could barely speak basic Klingon. Despite being half-Klingon, B'Elanna Torres was only able to speak a few phrases of Klingonese. (VOY: "Hope and Fear") In 2374, Alexander Rozhenko admitted to Miles O'Brien that he could barely even say his name in Klingon. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")
Words and phrases
|adanji||a type of incense used only for Mauk-to'Vor||DS9: "Sons of Mogh"|
|baH||fire! (as in torpedoes, disruptors, etc.)||Star Trek: The Motion Picture; TNG: "Redemption"|
|baktag||an insult||TNG: "Redemption II"|
|bat'leth||sword of honor; a two-handed sword-like Klingon melee weapon||TNG: "Reunion"|
|Bekk||an enlisted rank in the Klingon Defense Force||DS9: "Sons and Daughters"|
|cha'DIch||an individual who fought for a warrior challenging a ruling of the Klingon High Council||TNG: "Sins of the Father"|
|"CHEGH-chew jaj-VAM jaj-KAK"||"Today is a good day to die"||Perhaps a dialectal form of tlhIngan Hol Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam||DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"|
|Cho'echu||"Energize"||DS9: "The House of Quark"|
|DaH!||Now!||TNG: "Redemption II"|
|De-lak DOH!||Take your stations!||DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire"|
|d'akturak||ice-man||DS9: "Blood Oath"|
|d'blok||an insult||In 2372, Chancellor Gowron compared Worf to a mute d'blok, when Worf didn't answer Gowron's offer to come with him to Cardassia Prime immediately.||DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"|
|Dhak'tah||wall/barrier/hull||ENT: "Sleeping Dogs"|
|d'k tahg||a traditional Klingon warrior's knife||Star Trek III: The Search for Spock|
|Fek'lhr||the demonic guard of Gre'thor, according to Klingon mythology||TNG: "Devil's Due"|
|Forshak||a substance which smells bad when it rots||In 2373, Worf insulted Thopok by suggesting he smelled like a pile of rotting forshak.||DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"|
|Ghay'cha'||an expletive||Said in confusion at seeing an empty bridge in the Kobayashi Maru scenario.||PRO: "Kobayashi"|
|ghoptu||hand||DS9: "Blood Oath"|
|Ghos!||Make it so!||TNG: "Redemption", "Redemption II"|
|Gin'tak||an inductee to a Klingon house||DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"|
|gik'tal||to the death||TNG: "Lower Decks"|
|Gre'thor||the mythological place where souls of the dishonored go after death||TNG: "Devil's Due"|
|he' HImaH||energize (voice command to transporter activation)||DS9: "Past Prologue"|
|Ha'DIbaH!||animal||TNG: "Sins of the Father"|
|Hechu'ghos||set course (set a ship's course)||TNG: "Unification I"|
|HIjol||energize (voice command to transporter activation)||ENT: "Marauders"|
|hur'q||outsider||DS9: "The Sword of Kahless"|
|in'cha||begin||DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"|
|jak'tahla||Klingon time of adolescence||Star Trek: Insurrection|
|Jatlh||speak||TNG: "Unification I"|
|jat'yIn||spiritual possession, literally "the taking of the living by the dead"||TNG: "Power Play"|
|Jelik||a word, phrase, name, place, or event mentioned by Klaang to Hoshi Sato in 2151; along with Sarin, Rigel, and Tholia, Sato could not translate the word or understand its meaning||ENT: "Broken Bow"|
|jinaq||a pendant given to a young Klingon female old enough to take a mate||TNG: "Birthright, Part II"|
|J'khat bah||fusion manifold||ENT: "Sleeping Dogs"|
|k'adio||thank you||TNG: "The Mind's Eye"|
|kajunpak't||courage||DS9: "Blood Oath"|
|ka'vek||you, there||a situational term, as it was used either as a challenge or as an interrogative||DS9: "Chimera"|
|ke'chaw||defend yourself||DS9: "Chimera"|
|kellicam||a Klingon measurement of distance||Star Trek III: The Search for Spock|
|kesh||an exclamation of frustration or disappointment||DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach"|
|khi-GOSH||let's go||DS9: "Blaze of Glory"|
|Kolat chack tabak||plasma containment||ENT: "Sleeping Dogs"|
|koruts||derogatory term||DS9: "Sons of Mogh"|
|k'pekt||an insult||DS9: "Blood Oath"|
|Kortar||in Klingon mythology, the first Klingon created by the gods and who destroyed them||VOY: "Barge of the Dead"|
|Kos'Karii||pale, serpent-like creatures from Klingon mythology, who roamed the waters of the underworld||VOY: "Barge of the Dead"|
|ko'tal||unknown – possibly "fighter" – K'mtar referred to a holographic Klingon fighter as one||TNG: "Firstborn"|
|kut'luch||a traditional knife used by Klingon assassins||TNG: "Sins of the Father" VOY: "Real Life"|
|Kyamo||beautiful||DS9: "Blood Oath"|
|Len'mat||recess; adjourned||TNG: "Sins of the Father", "Redemption"|
|Mak'dar||insult||DS9: "The House of Quark"|
|Maj ram||good night||DS9: "The Sword of Kahless"|
|Mahk-cha!||engage||DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire"|
|mat-LEH||loyalty||DS9: "Sons and Daughters"|
|Mauk-to'Vor||a ritual in which one killed a wrongfully disgraced sibling to restore their honor in Sto-vo-kor||DS9: "Sons of Mogh"|
|mek'leth||a Klingon blade weapon||DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"|
|mevak||a traditional knife used for Mauk-to'Vor||DS9: "Sons of Mogh"|
|mev'yap||a stern command to immediately cease an activity||In 2367, Jean-Luc Picard shouted this command at Gowron and Duras when the two were about to attack each other during the start of the Ja'chuq ceremony. Two years later, Picard barked this command at CaptainNu'Daq.||TNG: "Reunion", "The Chase"|
|mok||begin||DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"|
|Mok'tah||bad match||VOY: "Drive"|
|movek||I lose||DS9: "Sons of Mogh"|
|Naj||"dream before dying"||VOY: "Barge of the Dead"|
|naDev ghoS!||come here||TNG: "Redemption"|
|nIb'poH||déjà vu||TNG: "Cause and Effect"|
|nuqneH. qaleghnes.||A Klingon greeting||TNG: "The Emissary"|
|Nuq'nuh||A traditional greeting.||DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach"|
|Ouee nagah||impulse drive||ENT: "Sleeping Dogs"|
|par'Mach||love, but with more aggressive or violent undertones||DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"|
|par'Mach'kai||a term of endearment, used to refer to one's mate||DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin..."; VOY: "Prophecy"|
|petaQ||an insult||See below||TNG: "The Defector", et al.|
|Po'tajg!||well done!||TNG: "Firstborn"|
|poH qut||time crystals||DIS: "Through the Valley of Shadows"|
|Pu'DaH dak cha||photon torpedoes||ENT: "Sleeping Dogs"|
|Qapla'||success||Star Trek III: The Search for Spock|
|qi'von||knee||DS9: "Blood Oath"|
|Quee nagah||impulse drive||ENT: "Sleeping Dogs"|
|Qui'Tu||the place where all life began, according to Klingon mythology||Star Trek V: The Final Frontier|
|qu'vatlh||an expletive||In 2374, Martok said Alexander Rozhenko and his father Worf were both "stubborn, tiresome qu'vatlh". In 2383, Gwyn used this curse when the USS Protostar's escape pods were ejected before she could access one.||DS9: "Sons and Daughters"; PRO: "Starstruck"|
|shuVak||a servant||DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach"|
|"Sli Vak"||someone who sleeps around||DS9: "Penumbra"|
|Soh-chIm||step-sibling, god parent (roughly); legal guardian assigned by a Klingon warrior prior to battle||TNG: "Parallels"|
|so'wl'chu'||engage; activate||TNG: "Unification I"|
|Sowee TAH||uncloak||DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"|
|Sto-vo-kor||the afterlife of the honored dead, where Kahless the Unforgettable resided||TNG: "Rightful Heir"|
|Suvwl'||warrior||TNG: "The Icarus Factor", "Redemption"|
|t'gla||an insult||DS9: "Invasive Procedures"|
|tlhIngan maH taHjaj||Remain Klingon||DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "Battle at the Binary Stars"|
|taHqeq||a being known for telling lies; used as an insult when questioning another's honesty||TNG: "The Mind's Eye"|
|tohzah||an insult||TNG: "The Defector"|
|toruk-doh||an insult||DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited"|
|vang ghaH!||take him!||TNG: "Birthright, Part I"|
|yan||a sword||DS9: "Apocalypse Rising"|
|Yej rhin||A call to adjourn the Council||DS9: "The House of Quark"|
|Yih-Ghom-HAH!||Dismissed||DS9: "Sons and Daughters"|
|Yintagh||an insult||TNG: "Redemption"|
One Klingon term used as an insult on numerous occasions was petaQ (also spelled "Pahtak", "Pathak", "p'tahk", "p'takh", "patahk", "pahtk", "p'tak", or "p'taq"). It was also used by the Klingons of the mirror universe.
- When trapped in a ring of fire by an exposed well head for a deuterium pump, Korok called Tessic a petaQ. (ENT: "Marauders")
- Romulan Admiral Alidar Jarok asked Commander William T. Riker how he'd allow "a Klingon petaQ to walk around in a Starfleet uniform" referring to Worf. (TNG: "The Defector")
- J'Dan called Worf a pahtak when he didn't want to help him escape with a shuttlecraft. (TNG: "The Drumhead")
- Klingon Chancellor Gowron told Captain Jean-Luc Picard that the former was "referring to the filthy patahk who's using his name" when discussing the Clone of Kahless. (TNG: "Rightful Heir")
- A Klingon officer aboard the Duras sisters' Bird-of-Prey called Tolian Soran a petaq when the El-Aurian returned to the bridge of the vessel after torturing Geordi La Forge. (Star Trek Generations)
- Governor Torak replied to Lt. Worf calling him a lo'Be Vos: "At least I do not wear the uniform of the P'tak!" (TNG: "Aquiel")
- After Quark mentioned D'Ghor, Tumek told him "that pahtak's name is not spoken in this House". (DS9: "The House of Quark")
- Morka called several Romulans in Quark's "filthy pahtaks" in 2371. (DS9: "Visionary")
- Kor called Worf a "traitorous p'tak" when he believed he was going to steal the Sword of Kahless from him. (DS9: "The Sword of Kahless")
- In 2372 in the mirror universe, Regent Worf called Elim Garak "the p'tak who lost Terok Nor to the rebels". (DS9: "Shattered Mirror")
- Worf called a Dopterian a p'tak after he discovered the alien had broken into his quarters and had stolen several items belonging to him. (DS9: "Bar Association")
- Martok insults Romulan Senator Letant by calling him a p'tagh in a military meeting. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
- A Klingon stationed on Deep Space 9 called Laas a p'tak after the Changeling told him his hands would have a stench on them if they were "stained with the blood of Klingon warriors", as the Klingon had told him. (DS9: "Chimera")
- After The Doctor added a "daydream" subroutine to his program, and started malfunctioning, B'Elanna Torres reminded him of an old Klingon saying while she was trying to fix it: "A Doctor that operates on himself has a pa'taQ for a patient." (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")
- The fully-Klingon B'Elanna Torres called her separated fully-Human self a petaQ several times after rescuing her Human counterpart from a Vidiian prison barracks. (VOY: "Faces")
- B'Elanna Torres used to call Max Burke pahtk while they were attending Starfleet Academy. (VOY: "Equinox")
- B'Elanna Torres called Ensign Vorik a petaQ when they were both under the influence of Vorik's Pon farr. (VOY: "Blood Fever")
- B'Elanna Torres called Tuvok a petaQ during a vivid dream before discovering she was on her way to Gre'thor. (VOY: "Barge of the Dead")
- The Doctor's holographic son, Jeffrey, called his father a petaQ when he tried to tell Jeffrey to stop hanging out with Klingons. (VOY: "Real Life")
- In 2381, after watching his pet targ chew on a soft toy, Captain Dorg said, "Good boy! That is what we will do to enemy petaQs!" (LD: "wej Duj")
Examples of spoken language
- bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'
- "Revenge is a dish best served cold", or literally, "When revenge is served cold, the dish is very good" (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
- "My beloved"
- matlh! jol yIchu'!
- "Maltz! Activate beam!" (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
- taH pagh taHbe'
- "to be or not to be" (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
- jIlajneS. ghIj qet jaghmeyjaj.
- "I accept [with honor]. May your enemies run with fear." (TNG: "Sins of the Father", "Redemption")
- 'ej HumtaH 'ej DechtaH 'Iw
- "And the blood was ankle deep"
- 'ej Doq SoDtaH ghoSpa' Sqral bIQtIq
- "And the River Skral ran crimson red"
- 'e' pa' jaj law' mo' jaj puS
- "On the day above all days"
- jaj qeylIS molar mIgh HoHchu'qu'
- "When Kahless slew evil Molor dead" (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"; VOY: "Barge of the Dead")
- wIy cha'
- "show tactical display" (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
- Chak wa kah Deesh paklah! Kah Deesh paklah 'kiV Duj Duj-to!
- "We've been attacked by an unknown ship, designation Enterprise NX-01! Any warships in range, respond!" (ENT: "Sleeping Dogs")
- QonoS Thrott! Nej jos mIch ka Xanant 'ach pagh
- an extract from a captain's log entry (ENT: "Sleeping Dogs")
- SoHvaD pagh vIjatlh, Human!
- "I have nothing to say to you, Human!"
- 'ay'vamDaq nuHmey tIQeq
- "target weapons on this section" (ENT: "Affliction")
- quv lughaj Archer HoD beqDaj je
- "Captain Archer and his crew are honorable people" (ENT: "The Augments")
- maj ram
- "Good night", as said by both Jadzia Dax and Kor as the former headed for bed. (DS9: "The Sword of Kahless")
- In 2371, the USS Enterprise-D arrived at Veridian III and hailed the cloaked Bird-of-Prey used by Lursa and B'Etor. A Klingon officer told B'Etor of the Enterprise's hailing, but B'Etor responded with "Du'cha. We're still cloaked. They can't see us." (Star Trek Generations)
- "yI-Har-Qo! nep-we' ghaH!" ("Do not believe him! He lies!")
- "Hol-chaj yI-jatlh." ("Speak in their language.") (TNG: "A Matter Of Honor")
- P'kar tel Durg Le Frakn'l?
- "You call this live?"
- Dug a bul, rah'tar!
- "What's your problem, lady?"
- D'tel klop a bul!
- "This slop you call food is the problem!"
- Pak't pol!
- "If you don't like it, don't eat it!"
- D'kar tel G'denna!
- "I want to see the blood running through the veins!" (DS9: "Melora")
- Ak un lach'tel?
- "A new boyfriend?"
- Doko, doko, un Koliay Trill
- "no, no, my student" (DS9: "Playing God")
- batlh Daqawlu'taH; DaH Hegh!
- "You'll be remembered with honor; now die!"
- chay' pen Aha'bA?
- "What's going on?" (DS9: "Blood Oath")
- Lohd Zoss-lee chaw-KU sohk jaTAL?
- "Does your mother let you talk to men?" (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
- A TLING-on kaogh.
- They fight like Klingons.
- Zo a TLING-on HEGH-lah. YOD-weeKAW. TIG-mang-RUP.
- "Then they can die like Klingons. Destroy their shields. Prepare boarding parties."
- Jee-YAJ. DUJ-va, YOD-wee-KAW
- "As you recommend. All ships, concentrate fire on their shield generators" (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
- MoVas ah-kee rustak!
- "Today was a good day to die!"
- Kosh tomah ehpaq Lukara kaVeir
- "The day is not yet over, Lukara"
- Ish-tovee chuCH thling nuq?
- "Would you kill me too?"
- Besh gee urchun omaH te-doQ maugh-shta
- "No, but I would gladly die by your hand if you will not mate with me this day"
Later, in the episode, when Worf and Dax fight, they add new lines after the third line above.
- Meklo boH ka Mech.
- "I amell the burning of your blood."
- Te-doQ roos ka... Mech-TOH
- "The fire is your doing."
- Martok degh, to-Duj degh, bat-LEH degh, mat-LEH degh
- "Badge of Martok, badge of courage, badge of honor, badge of loyalty"
- Martok degh
- "Badge of Martok"
- Alexander, vih-nob dok-tog
- "Alexander, give him your dagger"
- Mat-LEH gih-Hegh!
- "I will be faithful even beyond death!"
- DAH!; "Now!" (DS9
- "Sons and Daughters")
- Bosh-ta-JaH Veridian
- "Set course for Veridian." (Star Trek Generations)
- Louk, a jeek CHIM-ta law
- "Yeah, but I'm a lot better looking than he was." (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
- Do-MACH ah chee ghos eh-PAGH
- "Can you be a victor of the heart as well as the sword?" (DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places")
- Ros-te-ka cha'Domak ootha Trill?
- "Did you think her spots were going to bite you?" (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")
- Tug son bosh mok A'Beh, Sirella koH. E'Gagh vet moh.
- "Enter my home and be welcome, Mistress Sirella. May you find it worthy."
- Jadzia Dax Vond Shoo-vwee Dun Mahh-kekh Huh-Koo-Vahm Jeh Yin-Moj Mah-Mukh. Sto-vo-kor Pah-Dahkh-tin Baht-leh el-eegh-cha yay-moj.
- "We dedicate this mission and our lives to the memory of a great warrior, Jadzia Dax. Through our victory, she will enter the sacred halls of Sto-vo-kor." (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")
- Jadzia pay-lodge pah-dock-Lih Dun. Shoo-vwee-vahm baht-leh pay-lodge. Pay-lodge Poh-Hokh-Vahd Sto-vo-kor.
- "Welcome Jadzia to your halls... welcome this honored warrior... welcome her, Sto-vo-kor, for all eternity." (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")
- Star Trek films
- "Heart of Glory"
- "The Icarus Factor"
- "Sins of the Father"
- "The Mind's Eye"
- "Cause and Effect"
- "Birthright, Part II" (sung by the Klingons in the Romulan prison camp after Worf returns from "the hunt")
- "Rightful Heir"
- "Parallels" (by the USS Enterprise-D bridge crew, at Worf's birthday party)
- "Lower Decks"
- "The Vulcan Hello"
- "Battle at the Binary Stars"
- "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry"
- "Choose Your Pain"
- "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"
- "Into the Forest I Go"
- "Despite Yourself"
- "The Wolf Inside"
- "Will You Take My Hand?"
- "Point of Light"
- "An Obol for Charon"
- "Perpetual Infinity"
- "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"
- LD: "Envoys"
- PRO: "Kobayashi"
The Klingon language was originally called "Klingonese" in the episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" (by Korax) and again in "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" (by Quark), and is spelled in the script and the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 430). The term was also used in the script of Star Trek: The Motion Picture noted whenever the Klingons were speaking. Most later episodes refer to the language simply as "Klingon," and non-canon names include Klingonaase and tlhIngan Hol.
A few characters of Klingon script were first devised by Matt Jefferies, also responsible for the very first visual representation of the definitive Klingon emblem, for use on the D7 class model as used in the Original Series. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 6, p. 70) Additional letters were created by Magicam for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (Star Trek Sticker Book, pg. 17)
Michael Okuda, who led the Star Trek: The Next Generation-era art departments in creating the Klingon language graphics, starting from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home onward, has admitted they are randomly arranged symbols, which he based on the small number of Klingon writings visible in Star Trek: The Original Series and the first three Star Trek films. These graphics and writings do not reflect any possible spellings or translations in what Okrand's non-canon works call pIqaD, the native Klingon writing system. (Note: An unofficial guide to pIqaD is included on the box insert of the Star Trek Klingon Edition Monopoly game.)
The Klingon language as spoken was originally developed by UCLA dialectician Hartmut Scharfe, James Doohan and Jon Povill for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Doohan, who had expertise with various dialects, became involved in developing the Klingon language after he had a discussion with Gene Roddenberry over lunch. Decades later, Doohan remembered, "[Roddenberry] didn't like what [the dialectician] created. I said, 'Well, I'll do it for you after lunch.' I was doing something close to Mongolian." Povill has related in more detail, "When we switched from TV to motion picture, we had decided to make sure that the Klingons weren't speaking English, so we now asked our language expert, Hartmut, to help us construct a Klingon language. Whereas he had given us just what we needed for the Vulcans, his Klingonese didn't sound alien enough. Hartmut is Indian [sic: Scharfe was of German descent, but a languages specialist as spoken on the Indian subcontinent], and he was using it as a combination of Sanskrit and Germanic, it sounded in some ways recognizable, so we were not completely satisfied. Jimmy Doohan has always been good at just kind of making up dialects and languages, so he volunteered his services to help us. After Hartmut had done his thing and worked it all out logically, Jimmy and I just sat down one day and made up stuff. We created the Klingonese by using some of what Hartmut had done and then combining it with our own: we strung together nonsense syllables, basically, totally made up sounds with clicks, and grunts, and hisses. Jimmy actually taught it to Mark Lenard and the others just prior to the shooting of that scene, which didn't take place until many months later." At the time, Doohan told his co-workers, "We have to cut out vowels as much as possible." (Return to Tomorrow - The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, pp. 260–261; Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 16)
At that time the language was first featured, it essentially consisted of only a few exclamations, and the Klingon language was expanded for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock by Marc Okrand, who enlarged the lexicon and created a grammar around the original dozen words Doohan had created. It has spawned several reference works, beginning with The Klingon Dictionary.
One of the questions raised by a lawsuit against the creators of the fan film Star Trek: Axanar involved specifically identifying who owned the Klingon language and could therefore use it in that production and other unofficial films. 
To aid the Klingon-playing actors in Star Trek: Discovery to learn Klingonese, a tape of the language was prepared by a speaker of Klingon, and two voice coaches also assisted the performers. (AT: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?") Robyn Stewart oversaw the Klingonese on the show.  One of the actors who found these provisions especially helpful was T'Kuvma actor Chris Obi, who was at first worried that he would struggle to learn all of his character's Klingon lines but was helped to overcome his anxiety regarding the language. He recalled, "Immediately, we were told, 'Make it your own,' because it's not just making it Human, because you don't want it to be Human. You want it to represent the relationship with the word, with the sound.'" In addition to the other helpers, Obi was helped by Sonequa Martin-Green, who advised him that the Klingon language was deep inside the person speaking it, which he subsequently found to be true. (AT: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?")
The word for sex in Klingonese was seloh. It appeared in the script for "Sins of the Father" and was mentioned in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 436). Another phrase in the script, but not heard in the episode, was tam (be quiet!)
The term for "well done" in Klingonese was "maj-Kkah", according to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 13). The reference work stated that this term came from the episode "Sons and Daughters".
The term for "no problem" in Klingonese was "Qay'be", according to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 192). The reference work stated that this term came from the episode "Real Life" and explained, "The expression was devised by Klingon language consultant Marc Okrand at the request of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston, and was subsequently incorporated into the Klingon lexicon. It became a catchphrase for Ralston and his ILM crew, whenever they faced an unexpected problem or a last-minute change during the production of the movie. No matter how difficult the problem or how unusual the request might be, the proper warrior's response was a firm Qay'be!"
- Trespassing vessel: you have entered the jurisdiction of the Klingon Empire. Power down and prepare to be boarded or you will be destroyed.
- We found these papers, hidden in your cell. Who? Tell us – or you will die. Tell us! Who do they belong to?! ("Klingons Take Over Narada" & "Prison Interrogation and Breakout", Star Trek (Special Edition) DVD/Star Trek (Three disc Blu-ray)/Star Trek: The Compendium Blu-ray special features)
Composers have also used Klingon lyrics in their leitmotifs for the films. Cliff Eidelman, who composed Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country used taH pagh taHbe', a translation of "to be or not to be", for the choral parts for the score on Rura Penthe, in reference to Chang's love of William Shakespeare. 
For Star Trek Into Darkness, music editor Alex Levy incorporated Klingon lyrics into Michael Giacchino's score, mainly using Klingon insults to represent their fury at Kirk's intrusion of their planet. 
The Klingon Dictionary
The tlhIngan Hol dialect is featured most prominently in the Star Trek movies and intermittently in the series. Some writers on the television series followed The Klingon Dictionary fairly closely, while others did not.  Ronald D. Moore, noted for his major contributions to developing the Klingon culture, commented "Whether or not we use the language as spelled out in Marc's dictionary is up to the individual writer. I personally find the dictionary cumbersome and usually find it easier to make it up phonetically." (AOL chat, 1997) Marc Okrand noted that despite these departures, "[A]ny Klingon spoken during TNG counts as legitimate Klingon, whether I made it up or not, and I've incorporated all of it into the language." 
Such departures from Okrand's version included the following:
- The writers made up their own Klingon words: e.g kuva'magh or pfiots, against Okrand's pronunciation rules of standard tlhIngan Hol
- They used established Klingon words but in such a way that they were strung together without following Okrand's grammar rules, for example SoH batlh jI' for "you honor me", even though this sentence means something like "I am a honor you are". The correct translation of "you honor me" would be choquvmoH or tuquvmoH, depending on whether you referred to one person or multiple people.
- They gave new or extended meaning based on the English translation of a word, for example pu'DaH (pronounced poo-dakh) – phasers and cha (pronounced chah) – torpedoes, becomes pu'Dah dak cha (pronounced puh-dar dack chah) meaning photon torpedoes, when Okrand had already devised ' otlh cha.
- Okrand specified that Klingons do not have any rituals for ending conversations, since courtesy was not part of their culture. A conversation simply ends when either participant leaves. However, Qapla' ("success") is often used in dialogue where English-speaking Humans would say, "good-bye".
The sounds of the Klingon language as developed by Marc Okrand are harsh and guttural. This transliteration system was used in preparing scripts and phrases when Okrand supplied dialogue and coached pronunciation.
Below is a table providing a rough guide on how to pronounce Klingon and the standard transliteration of the sounds of Klingon, corresponding to the sounds of the standard dialect used when Okrand created the language. Other writers have introduced other sounds and concepts into the language since.
|a||as in father or balm||o||as in go or close|
|b||as in ball; in some dialects it is pronounced mb as in amber or m as in mess||p||as in pass|
|ch||as in chess||q||similar to "k" but pronounced further back in the throat|
|D||as in dead but with the tongue rolled further back; also like "nd" or "n" in some dialects||Q||pronounced like q but choked, a very raspy sound, very forceful,very similar to the initial "cr" phoneme in croissant.|
|e||as in bed||r||as in rotary, but trilled|
|gh||similar to "g" but softly gargled, sounds a bit like the French "r"||S||half-way between "s" and "sh", like "s" but with the tongue rolled back|
|H||as in Scottish loch or German Bach||t||as in tops|
|I||as in in or lift||tlh||like tl in bottle or Aztec tetl|
|j||as in jump||u||as in snooze but shorter|
|l||as in land||v||as in valve|
|m||as in mole||w||as in walker or where|
|n||as in nostril||y||as in young|
|ng||as in sing, never like the "ng" in finger||'||glottal stop, as in uh-oh or cockney bo(tt)le|
Below is a short list of some useful basic phrases in the tlhIngan Hol dialect, the most commonly-heard dialect used in the Empire.
|English (tera'ngan Hol, DIvI' Hol)||Klingonese (tlhIngan Hol)|
|Do you speak Klingon?||tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'|
|I don't speak Klingon.||tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhbe'|
|Do you speak English?||DIvI' Hol Dajatlh'a'|
|I am a Klingon.||tlhIngan jIH|
|Beam me aboard!||HIjol|
|Buy or die!||bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHegh|
|Pay now!||DaH yIDIl|
|I am a …||… jIH|
|Klingon, Romulan, Human||tlhIngan, romuluSngan, tera'ngan|
|Vulcan, Ferengi, Cardassian||vulqangan, verengan, qarDaSngan|
|Ready torpedoes!||cha yIghuS|
|Surrender or die!||bIjeghbe'chugh vaj bIHegh|
|It is a good day to die!||Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam|
|You follow me.||choghoS|
|What's going on?||qastaH nuq|
- Klingonese at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Klingonaase at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- tlhIngan Hol at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Klingon Language Wiki – a wiki to teach and learn Klingon
- The Klingon Encyclopedia (only in Klingon)
- The Klingon Dictionary
- Klingon Language Institute
- Klingon language at Wikipedia
- Klingon portal at Google – Kloogle?
- Klingonska Akademien – Swedish Klingon Academy
- Translate.com – a website that translates Klingon