Programming in TonguesAuthor: Joel Anderson
07 Jul 2022

Programming in Tongues

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    nuqneH! kaltxi! Su cuy'gar! Did you miss me??

    ...And I'm back! Heck, it's only been ..... four years!?!?

    About that greeting....

    • nuqneH! tlhIngan Hol (Klingon)
    • kaltxi! Navi' (Avatar)
    • Su cuy'gar! Mando'a (Star Wars)
    BBC Micro Bit with original Packaging.jpg
    Building a Tiny Language Lab

    What's new?! Have you heard of micro:bit? It is an amazing "bit of kit" as the saying goes. A computer powered by two AAA batteries, with light, gee force, angle, compass sensors. Two input buttons, audio output, A 5x5 matrix of LEDs and connectors for more input and ability to drive motors.

    Using you can program it with a block language or Javascript.

    Well, my go-to when learning a new programming language or environment is to say "how can I connect this to alien languages?" So I created a simple program to play with vocabulary from tlhIngan Hol, Navi' and Mando'a.

    I chose 13 English words that had equivalents in all three and built this program:  (links to micro:bit simulator)

    Not sure how practical it is, but it will show you the alien language when you press the "B" button. The "A" button toggles between  K(lingon), M(ando'a) and N(avi'). To move forward and back in the vocabulary you tilt the device left (back) or right (forward).  Shaking the device jumps to a random entry in the list.

    For another bit of fun I programmed Psalm 117 into the micro:bit - (links to micro:bit simulator)

    Pressing A gives the Living Bible translation, B give (transliterated) Hebrew, and A+B shows my translation into tllhIngan Hol.

    Next steps? I'm planning to adapt the xenolang3 program into a Scratch version with more features!

  • Posted on 10 Jun 2020

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    Word Generator in Scratch!

    My experiments using Scratch continue! My new project is a simple word generator.

    The  project lets you set a list of "vowels," "consonants" and five rules, which are chosen at random. For every letter C a random consonant is chosen, every letter V, a vowel is picked. Note: you choose what the vowels and consonants are, and the number of each determines the frequency picked. You can give it a try - and if you sign up at, you can remix it yourself

  • Posted on 07 Apr 2016

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    The Protocol Droid Awakens! And this blog!

    The Hour of Code for 2015 is over, but I'm still enjoying programming with Scratch (you can too! See, so, to go along with The Force Awakens, here's a protocol droid programmed to know all kinds of words and phrases from the Galaxy Far, Far Away!

    I'm planning to reinvigorate this blog - as a blog, not podcast - to go along with my two alien language podcasts, A Klingon Word from the Word, and A Mando'a Word for a Warrior. Stay tuned!


  • Posted on 05 Mar 2016

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    Ho, Ho, Ho - an early Christmas present!

    I've been getting ready to volunteer for the Hour of Code this week - and one thing I did was experiment with  Scratch - the fascinating language for learning (and more!). So I have created a new version of the Universal Translator Assistant - click here to give it a try (note: requires Flash):
     MrKlingon's Scratch translator

  • Posted on 07 Dec 2015

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    nuqneH! Remember me??

    I'm still here, still practicing my curious form of xenolinguistics.  The time has been found to blog (or podcast) but here's a stab at a bit of blogging.

    I can see that the increased scrutiny on Java means that, for many, my Java applets may not easily function.  I'd be interested in hearing if many use them and if that's a problem.  The form based tools, and the VB downloads should still work fine.  [Note: I'm in favor of the increased security - if my programs are a casualty, it's probably a good trade-off (not that there is anything insecure in my Java that I know of....)]

    I'm playing with some fonts - I may add some Trek fonts to my miitkad program (or make a Trek version).  I'd also like to make a simple Trek phrasebook program like the Star Wars one - that will definitely have Klinzhai and Vulcan. Here's Klinzhai font in miitkad

  • Posted on 17 Jun 2014


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