Tag Archives: Hamlet

The Klingon Language

The Klingon are a fictional extraterrestrial race from the American TV Franchise Star Trek, and have been given their own formal language (rather than speaking nonsense on screen) by linguist Marc Okrand. Although the Klingon language has its own writing system, words are commonly written in the Latin alphabet (which is used extensively by most Germanic and Romance languages including English and French). In Latin script different sounds are represented by varying capitalization (q has a different pronunciation from Q), so beginnings of sentences are, unlike English, not capitalized. A 2010 book by Arika Okrent suggests that there are about 20-30 fluent Klingon speakers, possibly since most of its known, or rather, invented, vocabulary refers to objects common in the Star Trek universe. There have been various works that have been translated into Klingon, including Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Epic of Gilgamesh, a version of A Christmas Carol and the Tao Te Ching. Finally there’s ‘u’, an opera performed in the “Klingon style”, first performed in September of 2010 in the Hague.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Film and Television, Language

On Infinite Monkeys and Shakespeare

The infinite monkey theorem is the idea that, given an infinite amount of monkeys, typewriters, paper and time, those monkeys will eventually the entire works of Shakespeare or any given text. The infinite monkey theorem stems from the ideas that given infinite time even nearly impossible events become almost certain and that an infinite string of information will contain an extremely improbable sub-string such as Hamlet, the King James Bible or a portion of pi. Finally, in 2003 University of Plymouth researchers used a £2,000 grant to put the infinite monkey theorem to the test. Using six macaques, a computer keyboard and a radio transmitter to obtain the results. The results after the one month test? No Shakespeare. The monkeys produces five pages containing little more than the letter ‘S’ and the keyboard was made filthy from being used as a receptacle for biological waste by said monkeys, but they taught the researchers that monkeys are not random string generators. Actually, macaques rather like the letter ‘S’.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mathematics