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Man Speaks Only Klingon To Child For Three Years

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the better-bring-your-bat'leth-to-school dept.

Idle 31

d'Armond Speers has a doctorate in computational linguistics but that wasn't enough for him. He is now pursuing the coveted "World's Worst Dad" title. To this end he has decided to treat his child like a verengan Ha'DIbaH and speak only Klingon around the child for the first 3 years of his 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 the Minnesota Daily. "He was definitely starting to learn it."

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Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (1, Interesting)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159510)

I assume this is a joke.

But if I were the governor of Minnesota, and I thought for a second that there were any truth to this story [at all!], then I'd sic Child Services on that SOB and have him thrown in jail faster than you can say "Fetch my betleH [klingonimp...sguild.org] ".

Seriously.

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (5, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159986)

You must be from one of those countries where it's acceptable to think you know how to raise other people's children better than they do. Thanks for outing yourself, totalitarian prick.

sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (3, Insightful)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161320)


The older I get, the more I seem to be losing my ear for sarcasm & facetiousness.

Assuming that the story is true [which I doubt], then PLEASE tell me that you were being sarcastic/facetious.

I honestly can't tell anymore.

.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162432)

The older I get, the more I seem to be losing my ear for sarcasm & facetiousness. Assuming that the story is true [which I doubt], then PLEASE tell me that you were being sarcastic/facetious. I honestly can't tell anymore. .

Here in the US, we tend to not care about such trivial things as which languages someone opts to teach their child. For you see, our Bill of Rights guarantees us the Freedom of Speech. The fictitious Klingon language undoubtedly falls under this category.

If you were the governor of my state (Minnesota, the state in question), and you used Child Services to have this guy throw in jail while being completely innocent of committing any crimes, I would have you impeached faster than you can say, "Klingon".

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30167474)

Here in the US, we tend to not care about such trivial things as which languages someone opts to teach their child.

I'm sorry, you sure you're from the same US I'm from? Where growing up learning only Spanish becomes a serious barrier in life? And many people are xenophobic and arrogant when it comes to languages?

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170870)

Here in the US, we tend to not care about such trivial things as which languages someone opts to teach their child.

I'm sorry, you sure you're from the same US I'm from? Where growing up learning only Spanish becomes a serious barrier in life? And many people are xenophobic and arrogant when it comes to languages?

Probably he (she? It? They? WGAF?) does ; you both live in a US where, in the interest of protecting a non-existent privacy and "free speech", you allow child abuse.
(I did actually notice that the professor was talking about teaching the child while it was in it's first language acquisition phase ; he didn't say that it was the only language that he was going to teach the child.
Astonishingly (to some), it's perfectly plausible to have children growing up simultaneously fluent in at least three languages. Two is easy - my wife's friends intend little Vasili to grow up fluent in English and Russian. I'd expect them to start on his French or Spanish or German when he's about 8.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30170912)

Not caring what language somebody speaks is not the same as feeling obligated to learn said language. If I chose to live in another country that primarily did not speak my language, I would want to learn the language of that country. It is unreasonable to expect the population of any country to learn your language simply because you choose to immigrate or travel there. I don't expect other countries to speak my language, so why should I be expected to learn theirs unless I plan to live there or spend a lot of time there? I'm not saying that learning more than one language is a bad idea. It's certainly in your best interest if you have to deal frequently with people who do not speak whatever it is you speak at home or if you travel extensively. Just don't expect everybody else to change on your behalf simply to spare you the effort of having to learn whatever the locals speak in the place you chose to live.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

emilper (826945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174946)

I'm sorry, you sure you're from the same US I'm from? Where growing up learning only Spanish becomes a serious barrier in life? And many people are xenophobic and arrogant when it comes to languages?

No, being poor is a serious barrier in life ... not speaking the same dialect as the minority in charge is a lot less important. My bet is not speaking English (or the official language some place else) with the proper accent (and that depends on the state/country) is a lot worse than speaking it with Spanish accent.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170008)

Granted, it's the Dad's right to be as much of a nitwit as he wishes, as long as he doesn't actually beat the kid up or some such.

Now, picture the difficulty this child will have conversing with the rest of humanity, hell let's just pick the English speaking world for now. How is he going to cope? I'm guessing he *can* speak English, but which language is his first, and hence his frame of reference? If he takes French classes at school, must he first go from French to English, then English to Klingon? Grammatical errors introduced from not understanding the complex nuances involved in speaking English fluently? Contractions, and contextual definition?

I'm not saying this kid is disadvantaged, but he is certainly not being set up for early success.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170014)

Plus, that dude's costume is RUBBISH. He looks more like a Girl Scout than a warrior.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172710)

But it's not the dad. So it's some random bozo.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (0, Flamebait)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173068)

Granted, it's the Dad's right to be as much of a nitwit as he wishes, as long as he doesn't actually beat the kid up or some such. Now, picture the difficulty this child will have conversing with the rest of humanity, hell let's just pick the English speaking world for now. How is he going to cope? I'm guessing he *can* speak English, but which language is his first, and hence his frame of reference? If he takes French classes at school, must he first go from French to English, then English to Klingon? Grammatical errors introduced from not understanding the complex nuances involved in speaking English fluently? Contractions, and contextual definition? I'm not saying this kid is disadvantaged, but he is certainly not being set up for early success.

Obviously you've never heard of the fictitious language called Ebonics. Why isn't there a huge uproar of the English speakers to throw the child services book against the parents that perpetuate that nonsense?

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170890)

OH.

I see what you did there. :?

Yeah, I kinda agree. If people won't teach their kids English, and we can't force 'em to do it, why is Klingon any worse than Spanish... both of which are languages that most of the US doesn't speak, and doesn't wish to learn.

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174668)

How is this any different than a family speaking only Spanish to their child while living in the U.S.? And what would be wrong with that?

Re:sarcasm and/or facetiousness ?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30176440)

How is this any different than a family speaking only Spanish to their child while living in the U.S.? And what would be wrong with that?

Somebody who can only speak Spanish is able to function in the United States to a reasonable level, because a significant enough portion of the population understands it. At the very least, a translator can be readily located in nearly any town, especially as you go further south. But Klingon? There is no place on the planet larger than a Paramount movie set where you could reasonably expect to get by with Klingon as the only item in your linguistic arsenal.

If you're going to raise your child with a single language, it is pure negligence for that language to be one that is not spoken by any existing society.

My captcha for this post is "language".

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162424)

You must be on of those people that sees parents beat their kids in a walmart parking lot and think they must be right and ignore it. Thanks for outing yourself, coward.

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (1, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30163696)

You must be on of those people that sees parents beat their kids in a walmart parking lot and think they must be right and ignore it. Thanks for outing yourself, coward.

You must be one of those parents that are raising children with a sense of entitlement by not beating them when they deserve it. Thanks for outing yourself, asshole.

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30163934)

You must be on of those people that sees parents beat their kids in a walmart parking lot and think they must be right and ignore it. Thanks for outing yourself, coward.

You must be one of those parents that are raising children with a sense of entitlement by not beating them when they deserve it. Thanks for outing yourself, asshole.

You must be the parent either from the story, or another fucking retard parent that gives there child social disabilities that they'll have to overcome. Doesn't matter if you name your child adolfhitler jones or you teach them kling-on for there first years of development. Oh how cute, your three year old can say 'hello' in kling-on? How cute is it when he's in 6th grade and is in remedial english because his parent was a fucking jerkoff.

Instead of experimenting on your kid, or worse, anyone elses, use your education in language and communication AND GIVE HIM SOMETHING USEFUL and an advantage.

where the fuck is your common sense?

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160908)

How is this different than learning two languages at once? Say one parent speaks english and the other speaks french?

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170906)

Well, it's sorta like different because it's sorta like learning ONE language at once, not two. Like, you know.

Re:Okay, please tell me this is April 1th. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171964)

Yah, don't want those know it all PhD parents to think they know more than us average high school graduates what with our stellar parenting skills. It should totally be illegal for a parent to teach their child a language not taught in our fantastic school systems. Otherwise where would they learn ebonics like the rest of us?

VERY interesting study in linguistics (1)

AlphaBit (1244464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160664)

Esperanto failed because it was artificial, created from theories on language that were popular at the time and not created naturally out of actual human communication. I'd think that any serious attempt to use Klingon as a REAL language would fail for the same reason. However, we have in this child's brain a language generation machine. It's possible that he "fixes" the Klingon language, turning it into a true human language worthy of serious study. God knows that Chomsky would have done to get to study this child (and father).

(F.Y.I - In reality, I seriously object to experimenting on children this way. It is really interesting though.)

Re:VERY interesting study in linguistics (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30166202)

It's possible that he "fixes" the Klingon language

They say our language influences our thought patterns, maybe even of young children.

What's Klingon for "give me the fucking bottle before I disembowel you and curse your ancestors?"

Re:VERY interesting study in linguistics (1)

Schiphol (1168667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170500)

Apparently, this is what happened with the Nicaraguan Sign Language [wikipedia.org] , one of the latest natural languages to have appeared (on Earth).

Deaf people in Nicaragua used to communicate with hearing relatives using ad-hoc signing. Once the Sandinist revolution increased the schooling of deaf kids in the late 70s, all of these signing schemes surfaced at Nicaraguan schools, and little deaf kids, well, fixed them, and in the process created a real language.

Agreed (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172662)

This is a fun test of Klingon. Linguists use it as a test language, but it's synthetic. If the child develops facility with Klingon but shows problems with constructs within the language, we can postulate that those constructs are either not valid natural linguistic forms, or don't naturally exist coupled with other forms. This is great.

But on the other hand, we have a sample size of one, so while we can use the data, we'll only suspect things based on it -- we're never going to have much confidence.

Furthermore, I suspect that his dad his speaking Klingon to the kid, but when they take him to Walmart, he hears English, and his great aunt Suzie speaks only English to him. The kid is learning two languages today, not one, and that makes the data a little less pure.

As for the harm in speaking to a child in a synthetic language, unless they keep him in a Skinner box, I don't see how this could possibly hurt him. He's being inundated by natural languages around him -- his father's just giving him a second language feed. That's typically good for children.

To think that Klingon will destroy his mind or retard his development invests too much power in a stream of sound and reminds me of "Snow Crash" which was fun, but silly.

Look at the actual story (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161702)

Sorry for the AC, I don't remember my password. I know this guy and TFA is a sensationalized blog entry. If you follow it to the actual story (http://www.mndaily.com/2009/11/17/local-company-creates-klingon-dictionary) you get the actual important parts:

With the birth of his son 15 years ago, dedicated linguist d’Armond Speers embarked on the ultimate experiment: He spoke to him only in Klingon — the language of the alien race of “Star Trek” fame — for the first three years of his 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 said. “He was definitely starting to learn it.” ...

As for Speers, who still gets nostalgic when he recalls singing the Klingon lullaby “May the Empire Endure” with his son at bedtime, the experiment was a dud. His son is now in high school and doesn’t speak a word of Klingon.

Re:Look at the actual story (1)

josh61980 (1025498) | more than 4 years ago | (#30164414)

I remember reading a study that did something similar to this. Only they taught English and I think French. The end result was the French was lost, however the children were able to pick it up when they studied it later.

Re:Look at the actual story (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170954)

Sorry for the AC, I don't remember my password. I know this guy and TFA is a sensationalized blog entry. If you follow it to the actual story (http://www.mndaily.com/2009/11/17/local-company-creates-klingon-dictionary) you get the actual important parts:

With the birth of his son 15 years ago, dedicated linguist d’Armond Speers embarked on the ultimate experiment: He spoke to him only in Klingon — the language of the alien race of “Star Trek” fame — for the first three years of his 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 said. “He was definitely starting to learn it.” ...

As for Speers, who still gets nostalgic when he recalls singing the Klingon lullaby “May the Empire Endure” with his son at bedtime, the experiment was a dud. His son is now in high school and doesn’t speak a word of Klingon.

OH MY GOD...

I’m not sure which is sadder: That I’m so thrilled to know it’s possible to do curly quotes in Slashcode, or that I’ll probably actually use them.

I normally use the alt-codes, but those are Unicode characters and Slashcode mangles them.

Now I just want to know if there’s a way to do a proper ellipsis character. It’s Alt-0133, but like the curly quotes, Slashcode mangles it.

Sounds like "world's best dad" to me (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171606)

OK, I kid.

However, if he raised his kid to be bilingual, that would be cool.

If he only spoke Klingon around his kid and the kid's wife and others spoke at least that much English, or whatever the kid's country's native tongue is, that would be fantastic.

Re:Sounds like "world's best dad" to me (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172678)

I doubt his wife, the kid's grandparents, or the folks at the local grocery can be kept silent around the tyke.

It's gotta be just a second language.

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