Alien races speak their own languages, Vulcans, Romulans "Rihannsu ", and others. Is the Klingon language the only constructed language seen on screen? If so, why did it receive more attention than any other? I am referring to constructed languages not some gibberish words made up for one time use for certain episodes.


As far as I can tell, no other language has been fully constructed for use in Star Trek, or at least not to nearly the degree that Klingon has.

Vulcan has been defined to some extent, but it seems to be less than Klingon. It is not, however, recognized as canon.


Romulan has been briefly described.


Memory Alpha lists several languages, but most seem to exist only in a few words or phrases.


So, yes it is the only fully constructed language seen on-screen.

  • It's worth noting that the fleshed-out Vulkhansu and Rihannsu are both non-canonical, whereas Marc Okrand's canon is - by and large - canon. The reason it got more attention... Presumably because 1) Leonard Nimoy thought it was worth to get a linguist to construct a consistent language for Star Trek III. 2) Said linguist decided to publish books on it. 3) Klingon fandom, or "klindom", was at one time quite large. – loghaD Jan 8 '13 at 23:30
  • Okrand's work with the Vulcan language for ST:3, why is this not considered canon? Also, Okrand had to work from what James Doohan came up with for ST:1 for Klingon dialect. It wasn't all Okrand. – Solemnity Jan 9 '13 at 4:05
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    brief phrases in Vulcan are spoken in some of the movies and maybe original television series, but not enough to form anything near a full language (and the phrases may well have been thought up on the spot to sound "alien" rather than be the result of a concerted effort to create a language). – jwenting Jan 9 '13 at 8:29
  • This answer is confusing, because you're actually saying "yes" to the question that was asked. – Plutor Jan 9 '13 at 23:23
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    We got culture and context in "Darmok," not syntax or phonology. – Adele C Dec 28 '13 at 2:14

I would like to address the part of the question: "If so, why did it receive more attention than any other?"

There was a similar question here, but I do not like the direction of the answers given here or there. I believe that only the creators and those involved with the production could answer concreately. There may be an element of luck there, but there are in my own opinion some reasons to prefer developing a language for the Klingon rather than for other species.

  1. They are aggressive and violent so their conversations have more impact than that of a soft spoken race.

  2. They have lots of cultural traditions which usually get separate words to specify, so a vocabulary naturally builds up. And when the vocabulary builds up faster than that for another language it stands out.

  3. People like to pay attention to the aggressive and violent. The OP here has the name "The Byzantine"; the Byzantine empire lasted the longest of all empires in history, and was relatively peaceful compared to other empires and ironically may be the least well known in the public. It is much less known than the Vikings for example.

And those I believe are enough to have given Klingon the advantage in being picked out for having a language developed for it.

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