Klingon interpreters need not apply

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Sorry, potential Klingon interpreters. Officials have said they won't be needing your services, after all.

The office that treats mental health patients in Multnomah County had included Klingon on a list of 55 languages that could be spoken by incoming patients.

But the inclusion of the Star Trek language drew a spate of tongue-in-cheek headlines. So the county has rescinded its call, stressing it hasn't spent a penny of public money on Klingon interpretation.

The inclusion was "a result of an overzealous attempt to ensure that our safety net systems can respond to all customers," Multnomah County chair Diane Linn said.

County officials had previously said no patient had ever come in speaking only Klingon, but that the county would pay a Klingon interpreter in case one was actually needed.

Klingon has gone from being a fictional tongue for the Star Trek television and movie series to a language, with its own grammar, syntax and vocabulary.

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