The Telegraph‘s report on this claimed it was the first known example of a government official using the Klingon language. I assume they meant “outside the Klingon Empire or Finland,” but I quit reading once my tracker-blocking software hit 59. Dor-sho-gha, Telegraph, do you want people to read this website or not?
The Guardian and Wales Online report that Welsh assembly member Darren Millar was surprised that the response to his question arrived in Klingon, although given that his question was about alien spacecraft maybe he should not have been. Apparently at the request of a constituent, Millar posed the following questions to the Minister for the Economy, Science, and Transport:
Will the Minister make a statement on how many reports of unidentified flying objects there have been at Cardiff Airport since its acquisition by the Welsh Government?
What discussions has the Welsh Government had with the Ministry of Defence regarding sightings of unidentified flying objects in Wales in each of the past five years?
What consideration has the Welsh Government given to the funding of research into sightings of unidentified flying objects in Wales?
The Welsh Government reportedly sent back this preliminary response: “jang vIDa je due luq. ‘ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH-devolved qaS” (that’s Klingon, not Cymreg), which the report translates as “The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter.”
I think “non-devolved” means that they think this should be a matter for Parliament, not the Welsh Assembly, but I’m not sure. I find it amusing but not really surprising that the legal/bureaucratic term is the only thing that didn’t translate into Klingon.
A full response is due by July 15.
News of the request resulted in some of the standard political argle-bargle (that’s Scottish, not Klingon). “The only extra-terrestrial life seen near Cardiff recently seems to be Darren Millar,” an anonymous “Assembly source” was quoted as saying. “Perhaps instead of spending time and wasting Government resources asking questions about UFOs he should be fighting for the very real concerns of his constituents.” As a spokesman for Millar’s Tory party pointed out, UFOs are a concern of his constitutents, or at least the one who asked him to pass on the questions. (There is of course no shortage of odd FOIA requests in the UK.) “I’ve always suspected that Labour ministers came from another planet,” commented Millar himself. “This response confirms it.”
According to The Guardian, government officials have stressed that the Klingon response was “issued by a press officer to a local journalist as a joke,” but I’m still going to count it as “official correspondence.”
See also “There is No Klingon Word for Deference,” Lowering the Bar (Sept. 9, 2012) (citing Norwood v. Vance, 572 F.3d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 2009)); “Politician’s Website Reaches Out to Klingons,” Lowering the Bar (Mar. 12, 2007).