Oh, what a joy for Bing users and Star Trek lovers! Microsoft has proudly officially announced that they have added new language to their Bing translator, but can you guess what is the language?
It is, not more, or less, but Klingon! And to do it more properly, they have also added both dialects (or versions, or …) for the language. They also said in the announcement that this is part of the support for the upcoming movie “Star Trek: Into Darkness”.
“Bing worked with the linguistics Ph. D. Marc Okrand who developed the language for the series. It also turned to 10 people who are fluent in the language to train the systems, as well as the Klingon Language Institute who assisted in the process,” Microsoft officials said for Mashable. Klingon Language Institute? Yes, it is not a joke. According to the 2006 edition of Guinness World Records, Klingon is the most spoken fictional language by number of speakers. Hail to that. So what now? Can we expect that Microsoft Windows 9 will have Klingon installed by default, so one can choose between English / Klingon during installation? That would be fun. Microsoft already has Development center in Serbia, maybe guys from there can start developing new detection mechanism for Bing: “IF user has IP from Serbia / Croatia / Bosnia, show him ENGLISH (yep, not Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian) language – IF not sure about IP location, show him KLINGON”. Well, what 20 million users mean to Microsoft – Obviously nothing. Yes, almost 20,000,000 people speak Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian. Real, alive languages that are used everyday throughout the world. If someone place “$” sign in front of that number, maybe it should be easier to understand how much is it. Will someone remind me how many native Klingon speakers are there? May I suggest that next language for Bing to be Tolkien’s Elvish, since we have now Klingon. I mean, who cares about some small insignificant live languages and people who speak them, since they are not target population for Microsoft. On the other hand, there is extremely huge population of people want to know how to say “Eat your pants Google” in Klingon. Remind me again, how many native Klingon speakers are there? I don’t know Chinese, and I want to use Bing to translate 微软公司 to Serbian – Nope. Croatian? A-a. Bosnian – God Forbid. But we can start learning Klingon, or stick with Google as usual.
Shame on you Google, where is Klingon? Tolkien’s Elvish? As it looks now, it seems that Microsoft can allocate time and resources to train people and systems to “learn” an invented language, but the company cannot find the resources for the languages that can be heard from LA via Moscow to Tokyo? Wouldn’t agree. Maybe we are not known enough, who knows where that “Siberia” or “Coratia” is and which language they speak. Again, I don’t think so, since recent Balkan wars were one of the most used theme for Movies and TV reports. It seems that we are now “famous” as much as Klingons. So what is the problem then? May I think that Microsoft is deliberately discriminating these languages? I mean they have offices in Serbia and Croatia but they don’t find important enough to implement these two languages BEFORE Klingon? If so, may I ask Microsoft, next time when you do Anti-Piracy campaign on Balkans, use Klingon language on billboards? Something like this:
If we would use Klingon on regular basis maybe we could understand what it says. After all, Klingon is incredibly important language to learn in academic sense. Important thing is, that Klingon nation (the invented one) is not offended, and are happy, since their language is now (with two dialects!) on Bing! Now, some people might wonder why is this the issue when you can use Google? Well, maybe we don’t want to be Scroogled? Ah, but wait, Microsoft is forcing us to use Google. Maybe they want us to be Scroogled? It seems like that Microsoft, one of the largest software company in the world, has shown some type of discrimination not only towards languages, but also towards the people who use it – Serbs, Bosnians and Croatians. It just feeling disappointing that Invented language has priority over living ones. And at the same time they are signing contracts to sell their products in Serbia. Are the contracts written in Klingon? Just how hypocrite is this? By the way Microsoft, did you know that word “Serbia” written in Klingon language has two Latin characters – “S” & “I”. Are you sure that Klingons can understand it?