A Very Klingon Christmas

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Christmas traditions vary from culture to culture. Estonian children leave slippers on their window sill, Finns will visit the sauna right before Christmas dinner, Bulgarians hide a coin inside a large pita, Filipino children also leave their shoes out overnight, and, in Hungary, Santa Clause is accompanied by a demonic figure known as Krampus. But what about Klingon Christmas? What would that be like?

A theater company in Minneapolis has set out to establish a Klingon Christmas tradition of sorts. For the fourth year in a row, it will be performing Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol entirely in Klingon, the made-up alien language constructed in 1984 for the Star Trek TV and film franchise. The play's characters are also all dressed as Klingons. But otherwise their version of Dickens' masterpiece is more or less the same.

Here's the YouTube trailer for this year's performance. The video boasts, "It's the only full-length play ever produced in the Klingon language, anywhere."

The New York Times' Robert Mackey reports the difficulties of translating Dickens to Klingon:

During a recent interview with Dan Damon of the BBC, Christopher Kidder, one of the authors of “A Klingon Christmas Carol,” admitted that there were some challenges that forced the translators to take certain liberties with the text. For instance, the ending. Asked, How do you say ‘Good bless us, every one’ in Klingon? Mr. Kidder answered: “You don’t. The Klingons don’t believe in gods, so that’s an issue to begin with. Instead, we went with ‘tlhlngan maH,’ which means, ‘We are Klingon,’ and it’s essentially their version of ‘God bless America,’ or ‘God save the Queen.’ ”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.