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Cortana now understands Klingon, 'ej majQa'!

To celebrate the launch of the Lumia 830 here in the UK, as well as the Star Trek convention this week in London, Microsoft has taught Cortana some new phrases in Klingon, possibly utilizing the translation functionality of Bing. The virtual assistant is now able to understand and respond to various phrases, providing some humorous themed replies for Star Trek fans.

From "beam me up" to "do you know commander data" and even "Star Wars or Star Trek?", it's possible to experience something beyond the stars on your smartphone. There's nothing new in terms of functionality, but it's a small giggle, nonetheless. And if you happen to be in company of some Klingons, be sure to check out Bing Translate.

Source: Neowin

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • That's actually kinda cool
  • UK only?
  • Seems so. Doesn't work here in Texas. :)
  • For Cortana, I believe it is only UK.  However, Bing Translater will translate English to Klingon in text, but won't speak the language.
  • That orange color
  • Really cool. Is this only for the UK? As I'm not seeing this here in the US.
  • Not for U.S. Right? Not working here.
  • Works a little
  • Not bothered cant talk it myself can you ?
  • Perhaps today is a good day to die!  KAPPLAH!!!!!
  • That would be Quapla' ... ;)
  • Where is the Cortana update for Uk!?
  • She updates automatically, you don't have to wait for a phone update
  • change Settings>Region from UK to USA. You'll get an additional update for Cortana. As of yet, if you change back to UK you lose Cortana, which I annoying when you want to purchase an app/remove ads (US store won't accept UK-registered payment methods)
  • Just use the Windows phone store on a browser, auto download paid purchases to your phone. Bada Bing, bada boom.
  • sometimes that works but not always: I've had the message "app not available in your region" from internet browsers, even with paid purchases... so have to change phone region back to UK ro download apps, then back to USA to resume Cortana abilities
  • I do this also. My region is set to US for Cortana, but I have to change back to UK from time to time to purchase an app.
  • Where is it available then? Because I live in the UK and Cortana is unavailable in my region...
  • You have to update with the preview for developers 8.1.1
  • change 'region' (Settings>region) and 'Language' to United States English instead of UK, you'll get an additional update for Cortana. Just remember to change region back occasionally to UK for app purchases (unless you've got a USA-registered payment method)
  • Ok i see john can
  • Shame it's spoken in Cortana's terrible UK robotic voice.
  • I have to agree Cortana sounds terrible in UK. Please make her voice better and more sexy ;)
  • Still cant understand turkish. What a shame
  • Meanwhile, plenty of real languages are still awaiting Cortana support.
  • This ^
  • Klingon IS a real language. At least that what the youth in Germany speaks sounds a lot like Klingon to me.
  • +1
  • Keep in mind that speaking the language is only part of what the team has to do to make Cortana ready. Localization also includes programming an understanding of parts of the culture as well. The vocabulary and syntax may be there, but she needs more to "understand" what you mean.
    Also keep in mind that the language engine they use gets faster at learning new languages with each new one it learns. So while Klingon may not be especially useful to most end users, it does help the engine learn other languages faster.
  • Localize her WITHOUT language then; it's the functionality we miss, even if we have to speak English...
  • It has been part of Bing Translator for some time.
  • Embarrassingly, yes, it has--at the expense of other languages like full Japanese support.
  • +
  • It's only a few phrases, not the whole language.
  • She is just accessing translation already existing within BING translator. Besides its just gimmicky and funny...something to give people a little laugh and only a few phrases. She is still in BETA...remember. It can be tough to make a program like this fully fluent in a language.
  • Plenty of countries that speak English are still waiting for support. To be honest I don't think Cortana will ever be a global assistant 
  • Klingon?! Still no NL
  • taH pagh taHbe'? yu'.
  • Forget Klingon!!!!!!!!! when is this bitch gonna get to the UK? Jeeeeeeeez..
  • She's here
  • It already is!!!!!!! Update to 8.1.1 for ***** sake
  • Already need for profanity
  • When is she going to speak Dalek???
  • + Gallifreyan
  • That literally is just the repetition of "Exterminate." >_>
  • I actually heard a Dalek the other day say "Resistance is Useless" and thought of the Borg. Lol.
  • Appears its only in UK. Not working here in US.
  • While I appreciate the fun aspect, it's about time MSFT made Cortana more productive. Why do I need her to translate Klingon?
  • I'm sorry I still to this day think that the geekiest shit ever to make a full Klingon language based off a fake show. This coming from a full fledged Star Trek fan. Lol. What a waste of resource. My personal opinion.
  • I think Marc Okrand was well paid for his efforts. Besides, for a linguist, creating a fully realized language is an art. (See J.R.R. Tolkien.) But beyond that, having people actually become fluent in your made-up language to the point that entire dramatic productions are performed in said language (see Hamlet in Klingon) has to be quite flattering and humbling to said linguist. Hardly a waste.
  • Esperanto. A rock band I was in in college did a song where the lyrics were completely in Esperanto.
  • yeah. waste of resource
  • Do you know Captain Kirk? Oh look, a Bing result. Standard. Do you know Klingon? "Do you know Clippy gone." More Bing. Forever disappointing. Pissed off in the UK.
  • Patience...BETA
  • *Patience
  • It worked. I'm shocked!
  • Star Trek and Star Wars are totally different. The only similarities are the word "Star" in their name and space. :P
  • Loool
  • I havent even gotten the favorite bands functionality and now they tease me with this??!!  
  • So they've expanded what bing supported to cortana
  • Yes
  • I want the " what does the fox"..
  • Am I missing something here? I don't even have cortana on my 8.1 in the UK....
  • Cortana UK comes as part of 8.1 Update 1.
  • Ah ok, thanks. I guess I'll have to wait for EE to get it released. . .
  • Or you could try enrolling on the Preview for Developers, if you wanted it now. It's very simple to do.
  • Dude! My geek sense is tingling! Qlapla'!
  • And yet, Cortana doesn't support spanish. So lame.
  • One word...BETA
  • Sure. Because Klingon is a more suitable language for beta testing purposes
  • Hahahaha best day ever. Thank for that impuls : I just realized there's a option to translate Klingon with Bing ! I am teaching myself Klingon now xD
  • Instead of building support for irrelevant fantasy languages they should focus on the 200 real countries that are still waiting for Cortana support ...
  • +1520
  • It was simply flipping a switch.  There's no localized considerations required for Klingon whereas for those 200 countries there are.  Learn how Cortana works before whinning.
  • It's still a slap in the face! They've obviously made an effort at some point; pointless effort that could have gone towards offering useful tools to paying customers instead!
  • Slap in the face...taking it a bit too seriously aren't we?
  • Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam
  • What a waste of time. Why not other popular languages? ¿Qué tal el español? Por ejemplo.
  • They didn't waste any time. All Cortana is doing is simply accessing a feature already present within BING translator.
  • Is Cortana capable of translate something from english to spanish.. using BING translator??  
  • What we need next is wookie language.. xD Harrnnnghhghhghh
  • I wish there was a way to say "I don't care about Cortana" so my phone would stop checking for updates even after I've disabled it
  • Not sure what you are talking about.  Cortana doesn't UPDATE unless you do use it, and even then it is server side, so at most, her version of an 'update' would be like refreshing a web page.   Give people features and they complain about them, even if they don't understand them. Why?
  • Damned if you do, damned if you don't. A while back everyone was complaining that we didn't have a personal assistant like Google and we do have a pretty decent one and they still conplain
  • That phrase reminds me of this song
  • Then why does she keep showing up in the top of battery saver's usage? :D
  • I'm sorry I left my geek to English dictionary at home!!
  • To all the people complaining: This makes headlines. It's free publicity, even if it is virtually useless to most
  • Yeah, negative headlines, obviously...!
  • Negative comments...not negative headlines. It made headlines on other tech sites too. It's publicity
  • Instead of Klingon, it'd be more useful teaching Cortana UK some Welsh. I can't find locations here in Wales as she has no idea how to pronounce them.
  • "Beam me up" works in Us.
  • For every freaky complaint about MS devoting resources to Klingon, it was already done a long time ago in Bing.  All they did was enable Cortana to access the Klingon translation database.    This type of update is fliping a switch to enable features that already were present in Bing.    Chill.
  • Nevertheless, it's still spitting in the faces of those 90% of their customers who haven't got access to Cortana and associated functions...!
  • But people LOVE to complain Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • I think its great myself, Siri cant even speak English all that well so way to go guys.
  • In US "beam me up" works
  • Pointless gimmick
  • Great! Spend your resources teaching the virtual assistant imaginary languages instead of real ones for paying customers... >facepalm
  • What the h...? What a totally useless and pointless function!
    Today MS use a lot of developers to make Cortana, instead of using their resources to make Windows Phone a better OS with more and better functions. For what purpose? Making Cortana speak Klingon!?
    For instance they could listened more to all the uservoice suggestions, instead of putting so much resources into something so useless as Cortana! How funny is it using Cortana after the first 30 times of testing functions.... "Oh my, so funny to hear my phone speak"...
    Still we don't have a good enough native calendar in WP with basic functionality... It is not even possible to search for an event you wrote earlier, and birthdays reminds you a day too early.... Yes, I can install another calendar, but none of them is good enough and looks like a mess!
    Sorry for being grumpy about this, but when it comes to this Cortana-hype I must say I'm disappointed in MS!
    First choice should be basic functionality, and funny Cortana should become second or even better....third!
  • I frankly doubt this was much work.  As was suggested, they have the translation facility in Bing. Cortana is the sort of feature that is unique to Windows Phone and has the ability to drive market share, if Microsoft bothers to market the crap out of it. 
  • I use Cortana all the time for useful stuff. And rarely for this funny stuff. I can't see how you think Cortana is useless. WP needed a personal assistant to be on par with other platforms.
  • Sounds like you just need to learn how to really use your phone. You can adjust the many days or hours before. And Cortana does A LOT more than just this if you take the time to input interests into it and utilize the Cortana live tile.
  • Yes, of course.... I'm the only one having this problem..... How bad of me not to understand this....
  • Totally agree. I don't think you're grumpy, just realistic.
  • She needs to become Dragonborn. Speak dragon !!!!
  • That would be funny.  I expect you're looking forward to Fallout 4 as I am. Yes people, the mere fact that Cortana can reply to a very limited amount of input in the Star Trek genre makes a mockery of the fact that X has occurred for Windows Phone, whether it's the work of localization or any defect or perceived issue.  Those few words, whatever they are.  I was able to get her to respond to "beam me up". Equivalent, totally.  You can share your pain with me.
  • Yep, looking forward to it, just not sure if I'm more excited about Fallout 4 or The Elder Scrolls VI more. Either one, the wait until release is going to be way too long.
  • I'm hoping for a Fallout 4 release at the end of next year.   I've loved Fallout for years.  In the short term I'm very interested in Dragon Age: Inquisition and I'd like to get an Xbox One to play it. You're probably not a Star Trek fan, the number of people who see the reference to Start Trek 5: The Final Frontier may be limited for a WP site.
  • I said beam me up and respond right away captain.
  • This is where I'm upset with Bing Translation/ Microsoft!!!!! Support for Klingon(???)  but no support for Swahili (The largest African language)! Very neglectful. Makes me upset! I may have to support Google more than I like!
  • Good to see they are focused on important things like Cortana understanding Klingon rather than irrelevant stuff like getting Windows Phone 8.1 rolled out to folks carrying Lumia 1020, Lumia Icon, etc.
  • Why? They already did their part. You have to take it up with your carrier now.
  • Not their fault...its your carrier holding back the update because of "testing"
  • Well, it seems to me that folks with iPhones don't have to wait for their carrier to bless iOS updates.  Why is it that for Windows Phone we are left at the mercy of the carrier?  Is it perhaps because Windows Phones have lousy market share because of Microsoft's failed marketing efforts, so they have no leverage with the carriers?
  • Because Apple got their foot in the door first, pure and simple. By the time carriers realized that they could sell more phones by holding up updates Apple already had them over a barrel. Even Android phones don't get updates the way Apple phones do (WP actually gets more consistent updates than Android) and they have higher market share than Apple.
  • Frustrating to see Klingon's getting support even before English speaking Norwegians.
  • It's just a couple phrases....
  • Sure it is, but my brain doesn't support Klingon.
  • Lol
  • Was Siri fluent in all the worlds languages in this amount of time....I don't believe she was. Have patience people. Something like this with only a few phrases is just there for humor and to make people have a little laugh. Take it easy. Can't believe some of you get SERIOUSLY upset and angry over technology development, lack of features, presence of "useless" features .etc etc etc. Calling it a "slap in the face"???? Really!?!? Getting personally offended by Cortana being able to say a few amusing phrases from a very popular TV show and Movie series!?!? CHILL OUT!!!!
  • So true. This is pathetic.
  • Holy crap all you whiners are pathetic. Fucking chill.
  • Useless, better focus on real languages. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • 'Beam me up' is great with the Scottish accent. You can also day 'Engage'
  • Great, very useful... Hope next in line is spanish
  • Sometimes I'm amused of all the unhappy people in the world. I'm starting to wonder if reading the comments is worth the time; there are lot of good/useful comments but these days there is just so much garbage.
  • Ditto
  • Would like her to understand Norwegian as well...
  • I agree on this as well, but I can understand that this takes time and effort on Microsoft's part to implement. What I don't understand is that Microsoft doesn't think it's great that a lot of people also know English as a second language, and will allow those people to dip their toes in the new functionality available on the platforms (like Cortana, Kinect voice kommands on XBO etc), just based on the region selected for the device.
  • We are all NERDS! LOL I love it. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Only for UK?
  • Pretty cool-- you think they can get her to speak Huttese or Mando'a in time for Star Wars Episode 7?
  • If this is a possibility, wy not take the next step and add Dutch?
  • Alas! Leonard Nimoy (Spock) no more.:'(