Klingon language courses selling out in Switzerland

Andre Muller teaches a Klingon language course for Switzerland's largest adult education institution. Photo courtesy of the Migros Club School

June 5 (UPI) — Switzerland’s largest adult education institution is drawing in students by offering courses in a language course that’s out of this world — Klingon.

The Migros Club School has been offering one-and-done three-hour courses around the country taught by Andre Muller, a linguist who counts the “Star Trek” language created in 1984 by linguist Marc Okrand among the more than a dozen languages that he speaks.

Officials said the classes have been a hit, with a session last Wednesday in Zurich selling out all 30 available spots with a waiting list of 18 others.

“We are overwhelmed by the interest in these courses. It exceeded all our expectations,” Mirjam Jaeger, foreign language project coordinator for the school, told USA Today.

“It’s nice to see that the students are very mixed, from 14 to 61-year-olds, from Trekkies to IT professors,” she said. “Being a nerd has become hip.”

Muller, who teaches his classes while decked out in a Captain Kirk-era Starfleet uniform, uses the three-hour courses to teach Klingon history and language tenants including grammar, pronunciation and sentence structure.

“The grammar is quite complex and exotic but it’s still easier than most natural languages,” Muller said. “However, the vocabulary is hard to memorize, because we can’t relate to it to any other language.”

Officials said Muller, whose grasp of the Klingon language previously made headlines in 2015, when he helped language learning app Duolingo design a Klingon version, will next teach a 20-lesson intensive Klingon course in Zurich.


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