5 Genuinely Useful Klingon Phrases Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Archived Posts

You might not think you’d need to use any Klingon outside of a sci-fi convention, but believe it or not, these phrases might actually come in handy in everyday life.

Klingon is the fictional language spoken by aliens in Star Trek which has become a fully fleshed-out conlang (constructed language) in its own right and a hyper-nerdy badge of honor to learn. You might think it’s completely useless to learn a language that doesn’t, you know, exist. Well, you’re wrong: here are 5 Genuinely Useful Phrases in Klingon. Commit them to memory and I promise you will thank me one day:

Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam – “Today is a good day to die”
This is your conversation starter, your ice breaker at parties or at the bar. You can branch from here into many directions – you could talk more about Klingon, or about other conlangs, or your interest in language learning. Or you could talk about Star Trek, I guess. The point is, if you learn no other Klingon, make it this one.

Qapla’ – “Success!”
This one is easy to say, and that’s saying something. Klingon is notoriously difficult to pronounce. But it also sounds the most like its translation, in my opinion. Pumping your arm in the air and screaming Qapla’! after a sports victory or low fare airline ticket purchase or university acceptance letter just feels like the right thing to do. So it’s going to make you feel even more successful. After all, you speak a little Klingon!

naDevvo’ yIghoS! – “Leave me alone”
As mentioned before, Klingon is known to be hard to pronounce. It’s very guttural and harsh, and that’s how it was designed. Klingons are a war-loving race, after all. But the side benefit to you is that hissing this one at someone who’s giving you a hard time will likely make them think twice. It’s pretty clear from speaking any Klingon that you aren’t to be trifled with, so you might as well be saying that in Klingon.

bIjatlh ‘e’ yImev – “Shut up”
Sometimes you just want to end the conversation or argument. You want the last word. Well, why not employ Klingon to aid in your victory? Nobody will be able to continue a discussion with you if they have no idea what you’re saying. It’s the ideal way to escape the room unscathed! No need to explain yourself; just drop bIjatlh ‘e’ yImev and scoot.

‘IwlIj jachjaj – “May your blood scream” (a.k.a, “Cheers”)
Everybody likes learning a new way to say “cheers!” You can never have enough. No matter the language, it always feels good. It’s all about breaking bread (or clinking glasses) and camaraderie. So what better way to add to the celebrating? After everyone else has got their santé! and prost! and skoal! out of the way, break out your Klingon, then make everyone laugh by explaining what it means. Those silly Klingons and their obsession with violence.

What about you? Do you speak a conlang? Teach us some in the comments below!


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About the Author: Malachi Rempen

Malachi Rempen is an American filmmaker, author, photographer, and cartoonist. Born in Switzerland, raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he fled Los Angeles after film school and expatted it in France, Morocco, Italy, and now Berlin, Germany, where he lives with his Italian wife and German cat. "Itchy Feet" is his weekly cartoon chronicle of travel, language learning, and life as an expat.


  1. Cliona:

    Don’t need Klingon…when you speak Irish it’s very helpful in these situations when abroad – no one can work out what language it is!

  2. Janet:

    This made me laugh. =-)

    Once upon a time, I knew how to write “I love you” in Elvish runes – that’s the best I’ve gotten.

  3. Harold Ewing:

    It makes it somewhat easier to speak Klingon if you speak Russian it is not at all the same however it gets the mouth in gear for the job and if you make your living with your mouth that’s a whole nother story. Add music to the concept of conlang and you get visibility through special cord construction to express emotions is an example however at the edge of the universe where I want as projected as a result of accidentally ingesting a certain substance is a planet about the size of a baseball about 300,000 light-years from here not to say these people speak and emotional lingo but they’re not people really no not at all sometimes I lie awake at that and I speak this language it reminds me of certain Native American dialects because for the most part I’m other Celtic Cherokee are Jewish so I’m a little conflicted because I wish I was a Klingon like Shakespeare he really contributed a lot you know and well I’ve only contributed to words to the English language and there’s a damn virus care and I can’t go to the Klingon Institute my wife says that it’s just not possible but Chico get something playing on style and get beat down talkin to me like that I tell that girl get in there in the kitchen make pies and baby wonder how we say that in Klingon Google translate will not handle that they don’t support Klingon but then again neither did they support Hebrew I think there’s a problem here I know I have problems I collect them that’s because I’m an addiction counselor

  4. Kurt:

    Doesn’t anyone think we should be saving languages as well? Ainu Itak might be unintelligible outside of Hokkaido, but learning it and doing some sort of self-practice abroad might increase awareness of it. It doesn’t sound very hostile, though.

  5. Avakhon Khinsharri:

    Nuq’ Doq yuch dapol Terragnon. (Where do you keep the chocolate Terran)It’s an invitation to a mating Ritual as chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac for a Klingon. Ghop ‘ jI (Bite me!) is also an invitation to a ritual. Mating or death match is dependent upon the situation.

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