Man Uses Klingon Language To Manage His Dyslexia

By Saralyn Smith | 9 years ago

Since its creation by linguist Marc Okrand for the Star Trek films, the Klingon language has taken on a rich and intense life of its own.  There’s the Klingon Language Institute, which has its own peer reviewed quarterly journal and even offers (small) college scholarships.  Hardcore linguists and hardcore RPers alike can debate the intricacies of its grammar and etymologies.  And, of course, it’s a great way to confuse and insult non-Trekkies (Hab SoSlI’ Quch!).  Now, the BBC is reporting that the Klingon language could even be helpful in managing dyslexia.

Star Trek enthusiast Jonathan Brown had always had difficulty with reading and self-described “name blindness”.   He was initially drawn to Klingon simply out of being a fan of the original television series.  While working with the Klingon Language Institute on a CD for people wanting to learn the fictional warrior race’s guttural language, though, Brown says he discovered that he was using a different part of his brain.

In the BBC article, he remarks that:

“Working on the translation has helped me understand where I’ve been having problems all my life with languages, I realised I’d been trying to remember the words in the name part of my brain and because I can’t remember names, I can’t remember the words.”

“With the Klingon language games used on the CD, I tended to put words into a different place and it went into my long term memory.”

People with dyslexia often devise interesting and unique ways of managing their language difficulties, but this is a whole new path to take.  Could it work with other fictional languages, like Elvish or Na’vi? Or is it something distinct about Klingon, with its full grammar, vocabulary, and phraseology?  Either way, let’s all wish “yIghoSDo’!” to Brown and any other nerdy dyslexics out there thinking about following in his footsteps.

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