The Wikipedia article on the Klingon language has an unreferenced statement that the Klingon alphabet was inspired by the Tibetan alphabet. The closest references to that statement are to Klingon FAQ and Some Comments on Orthography, neither of which mention the word "Tibetan".

Are there any statements by those involved in the show indicating that this is the case?

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  • 1
    Possibly made up in 2004. Somebody in 2005 didn’t like the Devanagari claim, but they left Tibetan in.
    – Molag Bal
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 5:46
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    The only similarity is that they both look written by a calligraphy pen. Katakana calligraphy looks more similar to Klingon than Tibetan does.
    – Izkata
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


The Klingon language was not based on any other language, but was crafted by a professional linguist, Dr. Marc Okrand, to work as its own language:

"...the producers called on professional linguist Dr. Marc Okrand to create authentic speech for the Klingons. His task was to make their language as alien as their ridged prosthetic foreheads, while still remaining pronounceable by human actors and consistent with the battle cries from the first movie.

Dr. Okrand did not base Klingon on any particular language, but drew on his knowledge of how language works to construct a wholly new language."

This isn't from Wikipedia, which is notoriously inaccurate, but from the Klingon Institute, a site dedicated to keeping the language alive, teaching the language to others, and connecting people that appreciate the language.

As for ANY connection to Tibetan, that is something never mentioned by the creator of the language. See 2) below.

As for downvoting me due to the unclear question, hmphhh.

The first source link is now corrected.

1) https://www.kli.org/about-klingon/klingon-history/
2) http://www.kli.org/about-klingon/writing

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    The OP is not asking about the synthetic language, they're asking about the letter shapes used. e.g. This vs. this
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 7:40
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    Actually, that's not what the question said. However, the language's creator made the language out of whole cloth, with zero reference to Tibetan, or even Cuneiform, for that matter. I added another reference link to point that out. He began with what the artists had already used in the previous Canon, and formed the rest from his own creativity.
    – Mary Ann
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 7:54
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    You're mistaking the language (e.g. the sounds of the language) with the written language that was subsequently written around the language. The link between the two is really very striking.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 8:00
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    @DuaneDibbley - Except that Okrand had no hand in designing these letters. "More recently we’ve been treated to a different alphabet, (often incorrectly attributed to Michael Okuda, scenic designer for Star Trek: The Next Generation™),... an unofficial letter to a Klingon fan group from an unnamed source at Paramount resulted in the following alphabet:" - web.archive.org/web/20061208232839/http://www.kli.org/pdf/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 10:19
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    I will remind everyone of the actual question: "Are there any statements by those involved in the show indicating that this is the case?" And, as my answer stated, clearly, the answer is no. Okrand did not, at any time, state that there was any tie-in to any other language's letter shapes. Period. Saying, 'well, it looks a lot like [language A] or [language B] doesn't make it a certainty that it was taken from some other language, especially when the creator of it, Okrand, says it's not related, and was created as a whole with the use of only things that had already been in a ST series.
    – Mary Ann
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 11:13

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