Hard times for Klingon interpreters

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon May 26 14:44:04 UTC 2003

Forwarded From CNN.Com,

PORTLAND (May 13) -- Sorry, potential Klingon interpreters.

Officials have said they won't be needing your services, after all. The
office that treats mental health patients in Multnomah County had included
Klingon on a list of 55 languages that could be spoken by incoming
patients. But the inclusion of the Star Trek language drew a spate of
tongue-in-cheek headlines.

And now the county has rescinded its call, stressing that it hasn't spent
a penny of public money on Klingon interpretation. ``It was a mistake, and
a result of an overzealous attempt to ensure that our safety net systems
can respond to all customers and clients,'' Multnomah County chair Diane
Linn said in a news release. County officials had previously said that no
patient had ever come in speaking only Klingon, but that the county would
pay a Klingon interpreter in the unlikely case one was actually needed.

In recent years, Klingon has gone from being a fictional tongue for the
Star Trek television and movie series to a complete language, with its own
grammar, syntax and vocabulary.

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