Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Harvard's Collection in Klingon

I recently noticed that Harvard lists "Klingon" among the languages in its book collection -- languages you can use to limit your search in its electronic catalog. Unfortunately, limiting my search for "Kritik der Reinen Vernunft" (Critique of Pure Reason) to Klingon yielded no results. Neither did I have any success with "Kritik der Praktischen Vernunft" (Critique of Practical Reason).

Why this distressing lack of attention to Kant among the Klingons?

The University of California, by the way, does not list Klingon among its languages in its online library catalog, Melvyl. I should send a note to the collection development people here at UC Riverside. We can't have Harvard showing us up like this now, can we?

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

hi eric, several books have been published in klingon- hamlet is one of them. If you order it for your library, they may have to update their language options. (just looked it up on wikipedia)
Jennifer

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the tip! Hamlet in Klingon. It gives one pause.

Kenny said...

Hamlet was translated into Klingon due to a running joke in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. One of the Klingons who comes to dinner on the Enterprise remarks (rather bafflingly) "you haven't read Shakespeare until you've read it in the original Klingon" and one of his colleagues proceeds to quote the line "to be or not to be" in Klingon. The rest of the movie is peppered with Shakespeare quotes, mostly from the Klingon general.

As a result of this, when the Klingon Language Institute started, Hamlet was one of the first things to get translated (Much Ado about Nothing and the Epic of Gilgamesh are also available).

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Now that's dedication!

ADAM said...

This leads me to wonder about other fake languages (btw, Martin Gardner wrote a brief essay on this, lacking references, that has been collected in _The Night Is Large_), like esperanto. How retarded would be the esperantist's efforts at intercultural understanding without translations! I searched through the www just now for a little less than half on hour without finding out whether they translate works. Perhaps a worthwile (I intentionally spelled it that way) made-up language would allow for easy machine translations (current machine translators invariably mess things up), and then all the e-texts, such as the Project Gutenburg collection, would be ready for them!

ADAM said...

Ah ha! I did a little more searching, and I did find a note on it at:
http://www.uea.org/info/angle/an_ghisdatigo.html

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Cool, thanks! I see that the University of California library catalog does have the option to limit one's search to "Esperanto" -- though I don't see Kant's critiques!

David said...

Nope no Kant in esperanto, but there is defintely philosophy, I have some Plato & Aristotle and I believe Mill somewhere as well. We have about 250 esperanto pdfs ranging from philosophy, to classic literature to childrens stories. My wife's father was raised speaking esperanto and I'm learning it because I want to bilingualise our children when we have them, and esperanto is easy to learn, you can be fluent in a month if you work at it. I'm lazy, so a fake language is the way to go for me :)