Qapla'! Speak Klingon Like a Warrior with Duolingo

Klingon scene from Star Trek
Klingons, rejoice! Now you can learn to speak Klingon like a "Star Trek" warrior with Duolingo online. (Image credit: Paramount)

For those getting ready for their next trip to Kronos – the homeland of the fictional Klingons in "Star Trek" – the popular language-learning site Duolingo now has a course in Klingon.

Duolingo's website promises Trekkies (or do you prefer Trekker?) they can learn the language in just 5 minutes a day; the metric refers to the time it takes to complete one of Duolingo's language exercises. Aspiring Starfleet cadets can experience Klingon through reading, speaking and writing on both computer or mobile. The "beta" course already has nearly 675,000 subscribers, Duolingo's website says. [What Makes a "Star Trek" Fan? (Slideshow)]

Some of the phrases learners will memorize include "The Klingon does not understand English" (Dlvl’ Hol yajbe’ tlhIngan) or "Success and honor" (Qapla' batlh je!), according to

The lead course creator, Felix Malmenbeck, told Mashable that the new course will "lower the barrier to entry" for fans because it offers a regular, structured curriculum for anyone interested in the language.

There are other ways out there to learn Klingon as well, ranging from in-person meetups to numerous books to the online Klingon Learning Institute. Notably, the newest Trek series, called "Star Trek: Discovery," has put a large emphasis on Klingon speakers in its story. It also delved into the conflicts between the Klingon houses.

The Klingon language was first heard on screen in 1979 for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." The language was at first based on a few words written by "Star Trek" actor James Doohan (who played Scotty), according to a 2009 Slate article detailing the history of Klingon. Klingon was subsequently expanded by linguist Marc Okrand. [15 Bizarre Aliens from 'Star Trek'

Duolingo was founded in 2009. The Pittsburgh-based firm offers dozens of real-life languages to aspiring learners; for English speakers interested in picking up a second language, its offerings include diverse languages such as Welsh, Romanian and Vietnamese in addition to popular languages such as French, Italian and Spanish. 

This isn't Duolingo's first foray into artificially constructed languages – the website also offers Esperanto (a constructed language invented by L. L. Zamenhof in the late 1800s) and High Valerian for "Game of Thrones" fans. 

You can see Duolingo's crash course in Klingon here

We wish you success and honor. Qapla'!

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: