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

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.

Leave a comment to Cliona