Linguist d'Armon Speers decided to teach his son nothing but Klingon for the first three years of his son's life. "I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language," Speers told Minnesota Daily. "He was definitely starting to learn it."

The social ramifications of Speers' language experiment are completely glossed over in the article, which instead focuses on Speers' involvement with Ultralingua's Klingon translation software. It strikes me as almost a form of abuse--using an important aspect of a child's development for his own amusement. Sure, the kid can go on to learn other, actually useful languages, but what larger purpose did it serve to raise him as a Klingon? My assumption is that only the father could communicate with the son, which troubles me as well. It shows a disinterest in seeing your child interact with other children and the world at large.

I'm not anti-Klingon. If you're a Star Trek fan, and it sounds like a fun language to learn -- go for it. I'm just profoundly disturbed that someone would raise their child as an experiment, especially someone who isn't even a Star Trek fan! Speers states plainly, "I don't go to 'Star Trek' conventions, I don't wear the fake forehead. I'm a linguist."

Overall, Speers paints the experiment as a failure. His son is a high schooler now, and he doesn't speak a word of Klingon.
categories Movies, Sci-Fi