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Qapla'! Illinois Gov't Website Translated Into Klingon

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on August 23, 2013 1:31 PM

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has boldly gone where no state government office has gone before by translating its entire site into Klingon.

No one would dare call the IDES p'tak (a colorful Klingon insult, in case you didn't know) after May, when the organization offered its online resources in the fictional language in order to coincide with the release of "Star Trek: Into Darkness," reports the Chicago Tribune.

As J.J. Abrams continues to ride the success of the "Star Trek" franchise, will we see even more government sites in Klingon?

Accomodating Language Minorities

Although not every state agency attempts to offer Klingon language information to state residents, most states do provide some level of multilingual access to their facilities and resources.

Some states, like California, have even been sued over failing to provide multilingual support to students who are learning English as a second (or even third or fourth) language.

Most states, including Illinois, have public accommodation laws which prevent discrimination based on national origin, which can be used as stepping stones to sue government agencies for not providing access in other languages.

It is unlikely that the IDES Klingon option has its genesis in the complaints of an Illinoisan who is a native Klingon speaker, but the site's offering of Maltese, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, and Russian may be part of a larger initiative to include all Illinois residents.

No Taxpayer Money Involved

A spokesman for the IDES justified maintaining the Klingon site by stating that "people notice it," and that more traffic to websites about public benefits is "a good thing," reports United Press International.

While most will likely be amused by the playful addition of Klingon, critics may be concerned that taxpayer money is being used to fund this government goof-off.

Luckily for Illinois taxpayers, IDES was as shrewd as a Ferengi salesman; Klingon translation is a free product of Microsoft's translation service, one that automatically translated the approximately 280 webpages from English to Klingon without having to hire "any certified Klingon translators," reports the Tribune.

Qapla' (success) indeed.

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