Searching in Klingon

It’s a classic problem. You’re a Federation captain trying to track down a renegade Klingon warship which has its cloaking device activated, and you don’t know whether it’s changed course since the last sighting. You have signals intelligence from a bugging device that a spy planted on the Klingon, but how can you process all that data when your only Klingon interpreter stood too near to someone in a red tunic on an away mission in the last episode?

Fortunately, help is at hand, via some 21st Century Earth technology…

The Search Visualizer shows you a miniaturized image of the documents you select, with the positions of your keywords within each document shown in color-coded highlighter. It’s now a simple case of finding the Klingon for “follow new course” (“He chu’ yIghoS”) in your Klingon dictionary, and typing that into the SV, then looking for where those words occur near each other. (Note for cadets – the image below shows results with “match whole word” option engaged.)

In the first miniaturized image, all three words occur together; the fifth miniaturized image has two of the keywords, but not all three.












So you can now engage interactive mode on the SV by simply clicking on the image of your choice. This lets you look at the text surrounding those keywords, and find out what the Klingon’s new course will be. And you don’t even need to worry about clipped Klingon, because that’s easily handled by activating the SV’s user-selected synonym mode. You should have the renegade subdued with plenty of time left before the closing credits. Kirk would approve…


SV is available at

SV works for most Federation languages, though the manufacturers offer no warranties for its use on non-humanoid languages. For security reasons, the example above uses texts from 21st Century Earth Internet searches, not authentic Klingon warship intercepts.

This product is not officially endorsed by Starfleet, and the manufacturers offer no warranties for its use against Klingon or other hostiles.

by Gordon Rugg


About searchvisualizer

We welcome debate and disagreement, but not abuse, trolling or thread derailment. We reserve the time-honoured right of blog owners and moderators to be arbitrary, capricious and autocratic in our wielding of the ban hammer. Gordon Rugg is a former timberyard worker, archaeologist and English lecturer who ended up in computer science via psychology. He’s the same Gordon Rugg who did the Voynich Manuscript work, and the books with Marian Petre about research. He’s co-inventor of the Search Visualizer.
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