Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

A Klingon Christmas Carol 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-tiny-tim dept.
Have you always wished that Christmas classics were written in Klingon? If so, then a theater in Chicago has just the thing for you, "A Christmas Carol" in thIngan Hol, the language of the Klingon race. Written by Christopher O. Kidder and Sasha Walloch, the play features English Supertitles, and narrative analysis from The Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology. "The story of Ebeneezer Scrooge is eternal and universal. But that alone isn't what does it. Also, Star Trek has worked its way into the fabric of American pop culture so much, that even those people who aren't Trekkies (or, Trekkers) understand what's going on," Kidder says.

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Klingon Christmas Carol

Comments Filter:
  • Because Dickens' A Christmas Carol is the universal aspect.
  • jIH ta'laHbe' Har chaH tuH vaj Sum dressing chaH Dung rur !

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug&geekazon,com> on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @01:29PM (#34642936) Homepage

    It claims that a human female was somehow involved in this.

    • by fgodfrey (116175)

      We will be back in both the Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago areas next year! (I've sound designed the show 3 years in the Twin Cities and light designed it two years [yes, it's only run 4 years, but I did both one year] :)

  • A warrior does not celebrate Christmas!

  • Tiny Tim? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @01:34PM (#34643000)
    How do they explain Tim's (presumably) Klingon parents not shooting his lame, shorty, sickly butt out the nearest air lock as soon as his illness manifested itself?

    And for that matter, why doesn't Klingon Bob or Ebenezer's nephew simply challenge Ebenezer to bat'leth deul, cut his head off, and take over the company? Just sayin'....

    .
    • by TexVex (669445)

      And for that matter, why doesn't Klingon Bob or Ebenezer's nephew simply challenge Ebenezer to bat'leth deul, cut his head off, and take over the company? Just sayin'....

      Because not all Klingons are in the warrior caste, much like how not all Asians live a Martial Arts lifestyle.

    • by Haedrian (1676506) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @01:46PM (#34643140)

      They should have made Scrooge a Ferengi - and instead the three Klingon ghosts beat the crap out of him. Would be much more realistic.

      • by Jawnn (445279)

        They should have made Scrooge a Ferengi - and instead the three Klingon ghosts beat the crap out of him. Would be much more realistic.

        You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        • by d3ac0n (715594)

          You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          Anybody want a batleth? - Fe'zihk

          (Oh great. Now I'm imagining "The Princess Bride" all in Klingon.)

          • Yea and the Sicilian can be played by Grand Nagus Zek. Man he would sound really funny in that...

          • by sconeu (64226)

            You have six fingers on your right hand... I should kill you where you stand!!!

      • They should have made Scrooge a Ferengi - and instead the three Klingon ghosts beat the crap out of him. Would be much more realistic.

        I think a Ferengi Scrooge would be a lot of fun... I mean, all the things Scrooge would normally do would be considered good things... And then Jacob Marley and the other three ghosts would show up to encourage him to do it better...

        Marley would show up and warn Scrooge that with his misdeeds he's forging a chain to burden him in the afterlife - and that it's important to accumulate enough wealth and manage it properly to be able to pay for the disposal of that chain after death. ("A man is only worth th

    • Re:Tiny Tim? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AdamThor (995520) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @01:49PM (#34643174)

      My understanding is that Tiny Tim's plot point is not that he is sickly and may die, but rather that he has to prepare (be prepared) for his manhood ritual and without appropriate instruction may die.

      The translation involves some conceptual work, it's not just a word-for-word type of thing. The play was put up this year in Chicago and in Minneapolis. In previous years it has been in Minneapolis alone. The greater exposure in Chicago seems to have gotten it a lot more press.

      My wife is involved with the theater company, but I have not seen the play.

    • by serutan (259622)

      How do they explain Tim's (presumably) Klingon parents not shooting his lame, shorty, sickly butt out the nearest air lock as soon as his illness manifested itself?

      And for that matter, why doesn't Klingon Bob or Ebenezer's nephew simply challenge Ebenezer to bat'leth deul, cut his head off, and take over the company? Just sayin'....

      Probably the same way they rationalize getting their butts kicked trying to take over Deep Space Nine that one time. Epic fail, deeply disappointing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @01:38PM (#34643044)

    The whole Christmas Carol story is about the spiritual redemption of a man who spent his entire life in pursuit of wealth sacrificing his "soul" in the process and not helping his fellow man.

    A Klingon would consider the sickly, weak and poor to be not worthy and therefore should be killed. A Klingon would have killed Tiny Tim or Tiny Tim would have died a honorable death in battle - maybe as a suicide pilot or something.

    If anything, a Klingon Christmas Carol would have Bob Cratchit haunted and the ghosts would have convinced him to kill Tiny Tim and take over Scrooge's operation by kicking his ass.

    • by Korin43 (881732) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @02:08PM (#34643382) Homepage

      You might find this description [chitheatreaddict.com] interesting. They didn't just translate the words into Klingon, they also made the story more Klingon. From the link: "Most notably, Scrooge (here, SQuja’ — pronounced Sk-OOO-JA!) is suffering from a lack of courage and honor, rather than compassion and humanity. He’d rather hide out in his hole, grumpily counting his gold, than fight in battle."

    • by qurgh (1890908)
      That's why we Klingonified the story before translating it. It's just based on the Dickens story, but as it would have been told by Klingons. Spiritual redemption is replaced with regaining honour.

      Klingons don't base your worth on your physical abilities, but what you do with the abilities you have. You could be a half blind warrior with bad knees and still fight and die honourably.

    • If anything, a Klingon Christmas Carol would have Bob Cratchit haunted and the ghosts would have convinced him to kill Tiny Tim and take over Scrooge's operation by kicking his ass.

      That sounds more like the version they do on Ferenginar. [memory-alpha.org]

      Of course, in the Cardassian version, Tiny Tim is an operative for the Obsidian Order who liquidates Gul Scrooge...

    • by serutan (259622)

      Agreed. I bet the Ferengi version would be even more twisted and cuddly.

    • No, that is the plot of a Ferengi christmas.

  • I saw this last week... In Saint Paul, MN. Where it started running 5 years ago. (Chicago is a recent expansion.)

    Good show. I suggest going to see it next year.

  • fighting and mating rituals.

    I so need to update my holiday traditions. Even the Airing of Grievances doesn't hold a candle to that.

    (Stolen from here [herald.com].

  • Perhaps off topic, but.....

    All technical discussions in companies should be done in Klingon. Having worked in the field for over a quarter of a century, I have come to the conclusion that marketing, sales, and management should NEVER know what goes on in engineering. Everyone will be happier. Lets face it, non-technical people barely understand as it is, and when they do get the jist of an idea, they so badly misunderstand it, it becomes a marketing phase/buzzword that everyone else will eventually either h

    • by Americano (920576)

      Right, because imposing artificial barriers to communication, and making it even harder for the engineers to express themselves clearly, is something we should really encourage.

      You'll be able to "make stuff" again, but you won't be able to "sell stuff," which means you'll be out of a job pretty quick, unless you happen to work for one of a handful of companies that makes geek toys.

      • by Ykant (318168)

        It has been said that a good thing is capable of selling itself.

        • by Americano (920576)

          It's also been said that a stitch in time saves nine, and that curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. Neither of those are any more universally true than your aphorism.

          "If you build it they will come," worked great as a tagline for a Kevin Costner movie. As a product strategy, it's a recipe for shitty sales and a slow death from customer apathy.

        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          It has been said that a good thing is capable of selling itself.

          And yet various technical industries are paved with good products that failed in the market. Huh.

      • by mlwmohawk (801821)

        Right, because imposing artificial barriers to communication, and making it even harder for the engineers to express themselves clearly, is something we should really encourage.

        Obviously you've never been in the position of having to explain something very complicated and very technical to someone who will never ever understand it. There are some things that take years to learn and understand.

        That sounds elitist, and perhaps it may be, but many dedicated professionals spend their lives learning. The notion that anyone can easily understand an esoteric and complex detail implies that there is no such thing expertise or wisdom.

        You'll be able to "make stuff" again, but you won't be able to "sell stuff," which means you'll be out of a job pretty quick, unless you happen to work for one of a handful of companies that makes geek toys.

        Well, your assertion is not supported by history. "Revol

        • by Americano (920576)

          Obviously you've never been in the position of having to explain something very complicated and very technical to someone who will never ever understand it. There are some things that take years to learn and understand.

          Actually I have been in that position. And I behaved accordingly: When explaining something complicated to someone, you start small, and with broad strokes, give them enough to answer the immediate question, and let them dig deeper if they need it. When somebody asks you, "What's a wi-fi?"

          • by mlwmohawk (801821)

            You seem stuck on the notion that "explaining heart surgery to someone" requires that they have gone through 8 years of medical school & residencies & internships before you can even begin. It doesn't. Teaching someone to perform heart surgery isn't required for them to understand what it is, and what function it serves.

            That's a very simplistic point of view and not what I was referring too and the nature of the discussion is inhibiting the actual discussion because an analogy that is easy to understand will not do justice to the subject.

            The best I can do for an analogy is starting a car in the winter. Under normal circumstances, it should start up. If however, there is a problem, then there is a whole host of possibilities. Is it spark or gas? Is it a computer issue? Is it cranking? Battery? Fuel filter? MAP sensor? Choke

            • by Domint (1111399)
              It would seem you two are having completely different conversations at each other.

              You're saying that in order to properly diagnose & address a malfunction with a complicated piece of machinery takes skill that the average layman lacks. This is true. But the point GP is raising is that you don't need the same skill-set to understand the underlying purpose of a complicated piece of machinery when it is in working order. This is also true.
              • by mlwmohawk (801821)

                It would seem you two are having completely different conversations at each other.

                You're saying that in order to properly diagnose & address a malfunction with a complicated piece of machinery takes skill that the average layman lacks. This is true. But the point GP is raising is that you don't need the same skill-set to understand the underlying purpose of a complicated piece of machinery when it is in working order. This is also true.

                Well, analogies are always inexact, but the point I was trying to make had to do with some things being more complex than can be easily explained to a layman.

                My example was diagnosing a malfunctioning system, because that is something that most people have been on either side of. That is merely an example of the point.

                I'm sure you can extrapolate this to something like computer architecture or design.

            • by Americano (920576)

              This analogy is so fundamentally different from your initial point that you might as well be speaking in Klingon right now.

              Your initial point was: We should invent a new language for "technical people" to talk in so that they don't have to bother with trying to explain stuff to non-technical losers.

              I responded that that was a bad idea, and introducing new - artificial - barriers to communication does nothing to solve the fundamental problem, which is that many engineers are terrible at explaining things to

              • by mlwmohawk (801821)

                The problem is, many experts try to cram their 20 years of domain experience into that 20 minutes, with the result being a confused audience and glazed-over eyes indicating that you've communicated absolutely nothing of value to them

                The problem comes from the, addressing the original point, when sales, marketing, and management try to get involved in engineering.

                To understand a subject on a basic level, yes can be done in about 20 minutes. That is an entirely different problem. If you have someone interested in learning a subject, that is different than someone who actively rejects that experience or expertise account for anything, i.e. sales, marketing, and management.

                Thus, you are presented with a problem. You outline an amount of wo

                • by Americano (920576)

                  You spend frustrating hours as they try to convince you that you have the engineering plan wrong and you spend that same frustrating number of hours explaining how what they want to do won't work the way they want it to work.

                  If you are trying to explain why something won't work for hours and hours and hours, and it's not sinking in, the problem is more likely with your communications skills than it is with your audience's listening skills and understanding.

                  They don't understand the connections between syst

                  • by mlwmohawk (801821)

                    If you are trying to explain why something won't work for hours and hours and hours, and it's not sinking in, the problem is more likely with your communications skills than it is with your audience's listening skills and understanding.

                    It is obvious that you've never been in a situation where people don't want to be informed and merely want to demand and get their way regardless of facts.

                    Ah, I see - so it's not that people writing software don't understand their users, don't understand their audience, and so get it wrong. It's because sales and marketing and management meddle with a perfect product and won't just shut up and behave like the engineers tell them to? You're simply demonstrating your inability to communicate with non-technical people here.

                    I'm not talking about a feature set, per se' I'm talking about the realities of the environment. I've seen more companies go under because of bad sales and marketing than I have seen an inability to deliver product.

                    If sales and marketing, and the management, of the company are not competent enough to understand, as an example, that most users have a perso

  • Sort of obligatory. LOL, but I must say I would never have expected something like this in Chicago. While Star Trek is certainly better known by the mainstream these days, let's not get too crazy. Being a Star Trek fan still marks you as king of nerds! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I may be biased.
    • While Star Trek is certainly better known by the mainstream these days, let's not get too crazy. Being a Star Trek fan still marks you as king of nerds!

      It's true. I'm a huge nerd and this whole story still fills me with an inexplicable urge to bellow "NERDS!!!" in response like Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds.

  • ... then it might be really interesting. Just like the Blackadder's [wikipedia.org] retelling of the classic absolutely stood it on it's head. If it is just Dicken's tale spoken in Klingon, forget about it.
    • by fgodfrey (116175) <fgodfrey@bigw.org> on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @02:59PM (#34643934) Homepage

      This is, in fact, what the show is. A direct translation wouldn't work. Here's the official description of the show from our website:
      "Scrooge has no honor, nor any courage. Can three ghosts help him to become the true warrior he ought to be in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate? Performed in the Original Klingon with English Supertitles, and narrative analysis from The Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology.

      The Dickens classic tale of ghosts and redemption adapted to reflect the Warrior Code of Honor and then translated into tlhIngan Hol (That's the Klingon Language)."

      -- Forest (Sound Design/KCC Twin Cities for 3 of the years the show has run and light design the other year)

  • by nomadic (141991)
    I've always wondered what the point in learning Klingon is. I mean, for that effort you can learn a real world language.
    • I've always wondered what the point in learning Klingon is

      When you die and get your wings (a la Clarence, keeping the whole Christmas motif going), you can trade in the geek points you get for learning Klingon to upgrade to a jet pack.

    • by Caerdwyn (829058)
      Because it's... fun?
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      What's the point in learning Latin? It's a real world language that isn't used.

  • A Vulcan remake of "Behind the Green Door"
    • A Vulcan remake of "Behind the Green Door"

      Critics would pan it for "lacking emotion." Deanna does the Enterprise would be a runaway hit.

      Ah, the true Christmas spirit: thinking up remakes of 70's porn with Star Trek characters.

  • I don't like star trek, i haven't seen most of hte movies, and even i kow that the proper way to have started that summary should have been:

    "Have you always wished that you could hear your favorite Christmas classics in the original Klingon?"

  • by chebucto (992517) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @02:01PM (#34643308) Homepage

    in thIngan Hol, the language of the Klingon race

    Wait, does this mean that every time says "only complete nerds speak the klingon language.'", I can correct them by saying "actually, it's 'thlngan Hol'"? Fantastic!

  • I was at the Greenlight theater last Saturday (2200 N. Block of Lincoln) to see their Frosty kids show with my kids. Last Saturday was the final performance of Klingon Christmas Carol. Greenlight gives kids of elementary age a chance to learn theater and participate. Anyone who calls the show lame and nerdy is a fucktard and probably insults it from their World of Warcraft system. It's great, and few theaters have the money and ability to do something so funny and experimental.
  • by rickb928 (945187)

    "Trans details don't match submission in MFAS for merchant"

    I'm not a 'Trekkie', but I'm a fan of the genre.

    Define 'understand'.

  • By going out to Andorian restaurants and then spending the rest of the day plotzing in Holodecks?

  • Have you always wished that Christmas classics were written in Klingon?

    No.

  • An enraged and effeminate C-3PO: "This unacceptably overshadows Life Day. Won't someone think of the Wookies?"
  • Klingons don't consider things like compassion, kindness, and generosity, to be innately virtuous as we do in our culture, so I don't think it makes a lot of sense to translate this work into Klingon except as a purely academic exercise.

    So on this issue of translating "A Christmas Carol" to a fictional language, I would think that Tolkien's Elvish might be a much more natural choice.

  • Star Trek has worked its way into the fabric of American pop culture so much, that even those people who aren't Trekkies (or, Trekkers) understand what's going on," Kidder says.

    Well, no. People who aren't Klingon 'speaking' Trek fans (a small subset of all Trek fans) can understand what's going on because you've provided English subtitles and based your play on a story extremely well known and woven much deeper into American culture than Star Trek. Given the preconditions (subtitles, extremely we

    • by fgodfrey (116175)

      So, having now seen the show upwards of 30 times (as the sound and sometimes light designer over 4 years), I think the show would be extremely hard to understand if you literally knew *none* of the Star Trek references. For instance, all the talk of "honor" and "warriors" only makes sense because most people probably know that about Klingons, whether or not they've seen Star Trek. Obviously, you can *follow* the plot by reading the subtitles but actually understanding why anything is happening requires mo

      • I think the show would be extremely hard to understand if you literally knew *none* of the Star Trek references. For instance, all the talk of "honor" and "warriors" only makes sense because most people probably know that about Klingons, whether or not they've seen Star Trek. Obviously, you can *follow* the plot by reading the subtitles but actually understanding why anything is happening requires more context.

        So, essentially what you're saying is that nobody knows anything about the Christmas Carol, and ev

        • by fgodfrey (116175)

          You need the same background context of Christmas Carol that you need in Star Trek. However, I think it's fairly hard to grow up in the United States and not have seen the story of Christmas Carol at some point.

          A show doesn't have to be poorly written to require context. August Wilson's plays are phenomenal, but if you don't have any context in the history of racism in the US, they won't make anywhere near as much sense.

          • You can't seem to keep straight the difference between "can follow along"/"understanding what's going on" and "deeply understanding"/"getting every reference/in joke". The point of TFA and my original post was the former set, you keep trying to move the goalposts to the latter set.

  • Lets have less sleigh bells and more Slayer in the shopping malls.
  • Klingons are a fictional creation, just like Santa Claus.

    Sorry.

Kleeneness is next to Godelness.

Working...