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Two years in translation, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (The Restored Klingon Version) is being released by the Klingon Language Institute (KLI). The book is part of the KLI's Klingon Shakespeare Restoration Project, an effort that began because of a line in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. During one scene in the film, the visiting Klingons recite Hamlet's famous "to be or not to be" line and comment that Shakespeare cannot be appreciated until read in the original Klingon!

Klingon, an artificial language first created by Paramount Studios for the filming of the third Star Trek movie, has taken on a life of its own, drawing both science fiction fans and language buffs from around the globe. The KLI is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to support, promote, and study the Klingon language. Since its creation in January of 1992 the KLI has acquired more than 1000 members from 30 countries and every continent (yes, even Antarctica!).

Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen is the founder and director of the KLI, and a psychology professor at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Trained in the field of psycholinguistics, the psychology of language, Schoen views the study of Klingon as a way of combining hobby and profession. Schoen notes that many who might otherwise not study a foreign language do study Klingon, drawn to it by their interest in Star Trek. Though artificial and with only a limited vocabulary, Klingon meets the grammatical requirements of a real language.

Limited to just over one thousand hardbound copies, the "Klingon Hamlet" includes both the English and Klingon language versions of the play running side by side, as well as translators' endnotes to correct misinterpretations in the English from the "true Klingon." The price of the edition is $20.00 ($23.00 outside the USA), and is available only through the KLI. As Schoen points out, "Hamlet truly is a Klingon story. It is about honor, and revenge, and everyone is dead in the last scene."

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (The Restored Klingon Version) represents the largest text successfully translated into Klingon. The effort took translators Nick Nicholas and Andrew Strader and editors Mark Shoulson, Will Martin, and d'Armond Speers almost two years. The end result: a translation complete with rhyming iambic pentameter, but in the original Klingon!

For more information, please contact Dr. Schoen by phone (215/836-4955), by email (lawrence@kli.org), or mail at P.O. Box 634, Flourtown, PA 19031 USA.

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Copyright 1997-1999, d'Armond Speers
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2004