When it comes to television shows, there are all sorts of fans: the ones who watch every show, the ones who seek out autographs and memorabilia, and the ones who attend conventions and dress up as their favorite characters. And then there is d”Armond Speers. Although he claims to be more interested in language than Star Trek, he is very familiar with the show”s lore, particularly the vocabulary and syntax of a made-up language that is used on the show, Klingon. In fact, the Washington City Paper reports in “Klingon as a Second Language” that Speers went farther than probably any other Star Trek fan has gone: he brought up his casino online young son to learn Klingon and become fluent in it, as if it were his native language.
Speers” curiosity as to what would happen when he taught his son Klingon is understandable, given his linguistic background, but his actions raise questions as to whether what he is doing is ethical. Studies have shown that children who grow up bilingual have distinct advantages over those who do not; but when one of those languages is a constructed language that is artificially difficult and bears no relation to any human language, what will the effects be?
Despite the dubious nature of Speers” experiment, it seems clear that he has succeeded. His son has somehow managed to become fluent in a language with no tenses and a very limited vocabulary. But whether that knowledge will help or hinder him later in life remains to be seen.