Gary Littman


Garry Littman is the owner and director of The Language House in Geneva which organises English language training for professional people, companies and students. He was a radio and newspaper journalist in his native Australia and ran a restaurant in Kathmandu in his younger days. He is an English language trainer and an aficionado of pétanque.

English? Bof! Klingon is the universal language

A new study reveals the importance of the English language might be over-exaggerated. The study suggests that French could be the most-spoken language in 40 years time, ahead of even English and Mandarin. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you rosbifs.

The study, made by a French investment bank, estimates 750 million French speakers by 2050. The projection is largely based on the fact that French is spoken in the fastest-growing areas of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.  And more good news from New York, where the French language is now the goût du mois.

So you can now relax… After years of English language mobbing and torment you can now pick up your Oxford Dictionary, look up the word bilingual and say: Bof!  

No more guilt. No more of those must learn English videos, like these below, that left you feeling a danger to yourself, ships, other maritime vessels and even worse, your own children.

The importance of speaking English

Do you want to learn English (Warning: rude language)

So now that you are free of the English language yoke, (until a new study is released next Friday), you may wish to learn a more exotic and challenging language to linguistically impress at dinner parties. Why not learn a language from another galaxy?  

Klingon is the most popular alien language spoken on Earth. Despite a troublesome relationship with planet Klingon, Captain Kirk and Doctor Spock and the crew of the Enterprise managed to beam it down and we now have the Klingon Language Institute run by bumpy-headed aliens.


Captain Kirk and Doctor Spock

A Klingon

 The Klingon language is fascinating. It is short on politesse. There is no please nor thank you. Not even a hello. The language is terse and direct and is so popular that it has already been adapted to opera. Here’s your first Klingon lesson.

The best thing, of course, about languages is swearing and insults. In Klingon you can easily make enemies with the phrase Hab SoSII’ Quch! which translates as: Your mother has a smooth forehead (Votre mère a un front lisse).

If Klingon is not your idea of the present perfect why not try another alien language, popular with some on earth, called cricket.

Like football, cricket is played with a ball. And that’s where the similarities end. A test match in cricket (which is actually a real match) takes five days. Plenty of time to invent the most extraordinary language while Every. Minute. Is Watched (yawn). Over Five (yawn) Long (yawn) Days.

This is a game that has a ball that is massaged with perspiration and polished on the groin. It also has no-balls, maidens, appeals, declarations, dismissals, hat-tricks, French cuts, hooks, edges, cutters,  blades, snicks, leg breaks, leg spinners, backward square leg, deep square leg, short leg, short fine leg, long leg, deep fine leg and leg gully.

Sounds pretty weird doesn’t it?  There’s more: silly point, silly mid-on, silly mid-off,  an inside edge, deep point and backward point. There is a man in short, a man out wide, a third man, a short third man and a 12th man who is really a drinks waiter. Then there are swingers, blocks, bouncers, yorkers, bails, creases (on the pants and the pitch),  the nervous nineties, googlies, gullies and let’s just finish with a duck and the box (which protects the family jewels).

Stumped? It is double-Dutch. It makes Klingon sound like a local dialect. To anyone who thinks they can master the language of cricket, I would simply say: Hab SoSII’ Quch!  Cricket is an alien other world.

In India, cricket is BIG. HUGE. Larger than life. HOLY. And where literally a billion people worship a ball, albeit a small hard red one, you will also find the company with the swoosh (an emblem or design representing a flash or stripe of colour) often found on running shoes, clothes and in places where humans hit, throw, bowl, catch and chase balls.

Cricket India 1

If you liked that here's some more:

Cricket India 2

Cricket India 3

Cricket India 4











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