Linguist Helps Craft Dictionary for Klingon After Speaking It to Son for Three Years

When a software company named Ultralingua needed a specialist in the Klingon language, d'Armond Speers was their man, and he came with a rather unique resume item.

Speers, a linguist and software consultant, had spoken to his son only in that fictional "Star Trek" language for the first three years of the boy's life.

It was an experiment to see if his son would acquire the language and understand it, Speers told the Minnesota Daily — and perhaps to see if the boy's first word would be "ghojmeH taj" rather than "dad.

"I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language," Speers told Minnesota Daily.

In the end, it didn't work. But now 15 years later, it has led to Speers' gig with Ultralingua, a dictionary, translation and grammar software company. He helped Ultralingua create its Klingon dictionary, which it is using to developed applications for the iPhone and for the Mac and Windows computers.

Despite taking an interest in Klingon, Speers says he's not a "Trekkie."

"I don't go to 'Star Trek' conventions, I don't wear the fake forehead," Speers told the Minnesota Daily. "I'm a linguist."

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