When Ultralingua needed someone to create applications for a Klingon dictionary, they turned to linguist d’Armond Speers, who came with interesting credentials, he had taught his own son Klingonese from an early age.
Some parents who love Star Trek plop their toddler in front of the television and pop in Star Trek DVDs hoping to make future fans, but Speers, who claims to not be a huge Star Trek fan, seems to top them all.
Speers, who graduated from Georgetown University in 2002 with a doctorate in computational linguistics, decided to speak only Klingonese to his newborn son when the boy was born fifteen years ago. He did this for the first three years of the boy’s life. “I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language,” Speers said. “He was definitely starting to learn it.”
Singing Klingon lullabies, such as “May the Empire Endure,” was part of his son’s bedtime ritual.
Now a self-employed software consultant, Speers jumped on the offer from Ultralingua to help create the Klingon dictionary. “It was right square in my sweet spot,” he said.
And what of the son, who is now in high school? He doesn’t speak a word of Klingonese, according to his father. Maybe he should have tried Romulan instead.