Is the KLI dying?

At the KLI's mailing list, somebody noticed that the KLI seems to be sleeping: At that time (2014) the KLI's wiki had been broken for several years, the website had not been updated for a long time, HolQeD has stopped in 2005 and there seemed to be no real activity. This is an answer by Robyn Stewart (1):

bubble   This is an OPINION PAGE. It may contain different points of view about different parts of Klingon. You may add useful thoughts, but please remember this is not a forum.

The KLI exists, holds an annual conference, and publishes works within its mandate. I don't know what the membership is, or of any advantage to being a member, as we don't restrict our assistance or resources to members. I'm not even sure of the last time I paid membership dues or if they are still being collected. Publication and mailing costs killed the paper serial of HolQeD and I'm not quite sure what killed the subsequent electronic version. With the exception of the defunct literary journal jatmey, so far all publications have been foreign language works in translation. Members coordinated by Lawrence do translation work for projects ranging from Bing to the recent [2014] audio book "How to Speak Klingon." I participate in a weekly Skype-based qepHom, two Klingon Facebook groups and attended the Saarbrücken qepHom. The tradition of qepHommey was established by the KLI, so even when the event isn't organized directly by the KLI, I consider them KLI events.

At the moment [2014] the KLI is mainly a loosely knit coalition of people who care about the language being used well. Unfortunately being used well and being widely recognized are goals that can be slightly at odds, so popularization projects can leave a bad taste.

What the KLI needs is:
  • a director who is as qualified, knowledgeable and steady as Lawrence, but who isn't focusing most of his energy on an English-language science fiction writing career. Perhaps an energetic assistant director who is able to implement and extend Lawrence's vision.
  • the password to its own website [this problem had been solved in 2015]
  • a website and general social media presence as avant garde as the KLI website was back in 1996. We have missed multiple opportunities to capitalize on high-profile Klingon items, like the latest movie, the Bing release, and every time some old Klingon story hits the media.
  • teaching materials that match the way people want to learn languages these days. In 1985 if you wanted to learn a language you bought a reasonable dictionary and grammar and a couple of cassette tapes and you went at it. And we liked it that way. But times have moved on and would-be learners are confused and discouraged when there is not a social media-enabled interactive video course with badges, flashing lights and hot chicks.
  • more younger Klingonists who have the attitude required to learn and promote the language. Most of the good speakers are in our forties and involved with family, and career.
  • a forum using modern technology and equivalent to the multiplayer online environment many of us hones our skill in. A new version of the Quch Quch that kids these days could visit on their smartphones.

Most of the projects require a high level of Klingon. We got burned by Facebook who provided an interface for a Klingon Facebook translation but didn't give us the tools to manage it in a way that it can ever be completed to their satisfaction. It depends on votes from a large number of users, and while lots of people would like to use Klingon Facebook, there simply aren't enough good speakers for our "votes" to produce a clear consensus on multiple but equally good translations of strings describing the cost of impressions per click, to advertisers.

Myself I am supposed to be working on improving the Bing translation, but I'm writing this e-mail and working on a Power Point presentation for work and playing an online game... the sort of people who learn Klingon for fun are the sort of people who can be distracted from useful work by any manner of interesting and esoteric things.

Projects that would probably be on the KLI website were it not trapped in limbo, and whose authors would probably make them part of such a website were one to emerge again include the Swedish Klingonska Akademien and Lieven's continuation of the new words list.

Your question is a good one, and although you say you're not one to do all that, what can you do? Are you a good coordinator? I'm a pretty good content generator, but sometimes when project is too daunting I don't do anything. I need someone to figure out what to do with my content and elicit it in the right sized pieces.


  • During the online qep'a' 2021, Lawrence Schoen announced that he will slowly but clearly hand over his reign to the group of Jeremy Cowan, Alan Anderson and Chris Lipscombe.(2)
  • The KLI is going to put his papers into the archive of a museum for later reference.
  • Schoen also plans to get the KLI back to its non profit status which it had lost somewhere in the past.

See also


1 : Message of January 2014 to the MailingList

2 : qep'a' cha'maH chorghDIch - State of the KLI, published July 27, 2021

Category: KLI    Latest edit: 30 Sep 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 20 Jul 2014 by KlingonTeacher
History: r9 < r8 < r7 < r6 - View wiki text
The Klingon Language Wiki is a private fan project to promote the Klingon language. See Copyright notice for details.