From: Marc Okrand [email protected]
Newsgroups: startrek.klingon
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 22:40:54 -0500
Subject: Re: What about Jimmy Dr Okrand?

Klingon Amb wrote ...
I've seen Jimmy Doohan at several conventions and he says he invented the
the Klingon language not Dr Okrand. Could you respond Dr Okrand and tell
us was it you or Jimmy that invented Klingon

Actually, this came up in the "expert" forum in early February. Here's
(part of) what I wrote there:

The Klingon dialogue in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was devised by
James Doohan and spoken by Mark Lenard, who, of course, played the Klingon
commander in that film. My understanding is that Doohan recorded the
dialogue on tape and Lenard then listened to the tape and wrote down what
he heard in a way that would help him learn the lines. To the best of my
knowledge, Lenard's handwritten transcription of this tape is the only
written version of what Doohan made up. (There was more made up than
actually ended up in the film. Some of this additional dialogue can be
heard -- though without benefit of subtitles -- in a scene where we see the
Klingon commander on a viewscreen on a Federation monitoring station. But
the Federation folks are talking through all of this, so the Klingon
dialogue can't be heard very clearly.) I don't know whether at the time
Doohan made the recording he or Lenard or anybody else knew which phrases
would go with which subtitles or whether subtitles were changed after the
filming was done. (Having said that, the command meaning "fire !" -- which I transcribed as baH but which also sounds kind of
like maH -- must have always had that meaning, since it's there a couple
of times. ) My involvement with Klingon began with "Star Trek III."
In devising the Klingon dialogue for that film, I first listened to the
lines spoken in "The Motion Picture," copied the subtitles, and
transcribed phonetically what Lenard was saying. I also imposed a
structure on the lines, deciding, for example, whether the phrase
pronounced something like "June tah," subtitled as "Evasive," was one word
or two. (I decided it was one, made up of two parts: jun "take evasive
action" and taH, a suffix indicating that the action is of a continuing
or ongoing nature.)

In the original TV show, we never hear examples of spoken Klingon (except
for the names of some Klingon characters, such as Kang and Kor and Mara).
Jimmy Doohan did indeed invent the first bits of Klingon that were ever