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‘Star Trek’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ Language Creators on Campus Nov. 29

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 1:29 pm / November 15, 2018

The Boise State University Linguistics Association and English Majors Association present “Linguists in Hollywood,” a panel discussion and interview with the creators of the Klingon language for “Star Trek” and the Dothraki language for “Game of Thrones” – two of the most iconic languages in the science fiction canon. The event will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Special Events Center in Boise State’s Student Union Building. The event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Free parking will be provided in Lincoln Garage.

Marc Okrand created the enduring Klingon language for “Star Trek,” first used in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” He is the author of two books about Klingon, “The Klingon Dictionary” and “Klingon for the Galactic Traveler,” and co-authored the libretto for “u,” an opera in the Klingon language that debuted at The Hague in September 2010. Okrand is director for live captioning at the National Captioning Institute and formerly taught undergraduate linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

David J. Peterson is the creator of the language Dothraki from the critically acclaimed Emmy Award Winning HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Petersen also has authored the book, “The Art of Language Invention,” and is the producer of a YouTube series of the same name. Additionally, Petersen was an executive producer on the 2017 documentary “Conlanging – The Art of Crafting Tongues,” featuring Okrand and other linguists who have created languages for film and literature.

“Both speakers are professional linguists who hold advanced degrees in linguistics, and we’re hoping to raise awareness about linguistics as a potential field of study for students here on campus,” said Michal Temkin Martínez, an associate professor and the director of the Boise State Linguistics Lab. “We also welcome the community to campus to meet these individuals and hear their viewpoints on academics making it big in Hollywood.”

The event is sponsored by the Associated Students of Boise State University and the Department of English. For more information, visit https://english.boisestate.edu/linguistics/linguists-in-hollywood/ or send questions to linglab@boisestate.edu.