This article is using Klingon symbols known as pIqaD. It is possible that some devices do not display them correctly.


pIqaD KLI.jpg
pIqaD letters

A clock using Klingon digits:

The word pIqaD (pronunciation: S) refers to the klingon letters. According to The Klingon Dictionary, it is a "native writing system for Klingon" and "is not yet well understood"(1). Meanwhile, it has become the name for a specific set of used Klingon letters. Many Klingonists use the name pIqaD to refer to an arbitrary correlation of Klingon style symbols fitting to the alphabet used in The Klingon Dictionary.


Mandel script.jpg
Mandel's Klingon letters

piqad MortasTeKaase1989.jpg
First known evidence of pIqaD, 1989
In 1989, the KLI received a new set of symbols which had been sent to a Klingon fan group "Mortas-Te-Kaase" from an unnamed Paramount source in 1989. (2) Before these letters appeared, the only known halfway official Klingon letters those referred to as the Mandel Script.

The Mortas-Te-Kaase document starts with some acknowledgments: "Thanks to Doug Drexler and Michael Okuda for the Klingon Alphanumerics". The document itself was created by Thomas Scheuer, the copyright notice also says "© - 1989 T.S.". It is not clear who did exactly what here, the story behind this set of symbols is obscure by intent. (3)

This is the set created and used by the KLI:
pIqaD KLI.jpg

In a thesis written by Yens Wahlgren, Marc Okrand commented pIqaD in this way (4):
The mapping is very cleverly done... I think it is great, it makes it so you can write the language... I wish I could read it, when I get something written in pIqaD I'm able to very slowly figure it out... I am glad someone really is doing it and has decided that it is an alphabet and not a syllabary. Now we know, cause Michael Okuda and I didn't know that.


Through the years, this "KLI pIqaD" has been used by many people in many non-canon publications, and it even has been used in several canon sources. Marc Okrand brought the galleys of the Haynes manual to qep'a' in Chicago in order to ask a few people who could read it well to look over the pIqaD. One may qualify that as accepted by Okrand.

Canon use

Non-canon printed usage

Other usage

Usage on computers

See main article ➞ fonts and ➞ Unicode and find out how to write pIqaD in this wiki.


Resemblance to the latin alphabet

Some Klingonists do not like the fact that several symbols resemble their Terran counterpart quite well, such as D (d) looks like a Greek delta, l (l) looks like L, but even more that the apostrophe really looks like an apostrophe: z (6). From a Klingon point of view, the apostrophe is treated as a single letter, so it could be any kind of symbol.

Similar letters

With some of the fonts, q and Q are very hard to distinguish: compare k and q. This can sometimes also happen with ng and o (f and o) but these are easier to distinguish due to the Klingon phonology, as one is a consonant, the latter is a vowel.

See also


1 : The Klingon Dictionary, p. 11

2 : "Some Comments on Orthography", by Lawrence M. Schoen, HolQeD 1:1, March 1992, p. 19

3 : Message on Facebook by Alan Anderson on 16 Nov 2016

4 : Yens Wahlgren, 2004, "Klingon as Linguistic Capital", p. 25

5 : SweCon 2004 - A DS67 Away Mission Report by Lance R. Casey, retrieved 10 november 2016

6 : Message to the mailing list by David Yonge-Mallo of 18 October 2015

External Links

Category: General    Latest edit: 18 Feb 2022, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 10 Mar 2014 by KlingonTeacher
History: r39 < r38 < r37 < r36 - View wiki text
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