It's not an exaggeration to say we've been waiting for Duolingo's course in Klingon for years. Now, it's finally making its debut. Star Trek fans (or really, anyone who's interested in taking a course in a constructed language, or conlang) can access a Klingon language course for free via the Duolingo website. It will be made available on the iOS and Android apps at a later date. The course is under license by CBS Consumer Products.
It's not the first conlang that Duolingo has a course for. The service's 200 million users currently have access to both Esperanto and High Valyrian (from Game of Thrones). But how does an organization decide to create a language course for a fictional language like Klingon? Michaela Kron, Duolingo's senior PR manager, explained that it was all about the company's volunteer system.
"While some of our earliest courses were built internally, most Duolingo courses are built by volunteers using the Duolingo Incubator," Kron explained to Engadget. "Through an application process, we carefully vet the volunteer contributors to ensure their skill level and commitment to the project needs. Then our team of language learning experts, linguistics PhDs, and tech staff help review the courses and provide QA and testing."
Once there were enough volunteers fluent in the language who were willing to spend time on the project, development could begin on a Klingon course. "In the case of Klingon, the course development was led by Felix Malmenbeck, the course's lead contributor who is a fluent Klingon speaker and has been passionate about the language even before he became a fan of Star Trek," Kron said.