Is Teaching Klingon A Secret Language School Marketing Strategy?

Why on earth should you bother with the artificially invented and constructed language for Star Trek in the first place?

Not everyone is as extreme as one Klingon language enthusiast who even tried to raise his own son in Klingon, but you might be surprised that there is a Klingon version of the board game “Monopoly” and an entire opera “A Klingon Christmas Carol” and that the works of William Shakespeare and parts of the Bible are available in Klingon.

As there is an official Klingon Language Institute (a non-profit corporation in the United States) and Google and Bing offer their translation services in Klingon this language phenomenon is something worth looking into in more detail.

Since the publication of the official Klingon Dictionary in 1985 with an updated addendum in 1992 (it sold more than 300,000 copies, mind you!), more and more companies adapting to cater for the interest in learning the language.

In March 2018 the popular language learning app Duolingo released a Klingon language course which is available as beta testing version online.

When it comes to promoting a language school online, you can learn actually a few important marketing strategies from companies that use that special interest in Klingon.

It shows you that it is worthwhile to focus on promoting a specialized language skill first in order to become recognized online as a language school or provider of online learning apps.

While it is almost next to impossible to compete for the search phrase “Learn English Online”, it is actually much more simple to rank for “Learn Klingon Online”. Not surprisingly Duolingo ranks in the first positions for it.

But also other companies such as Cudoo.com that actually teach over 160 languages online is to be found in prominent search engine results.

Some might think that using the keyword “Klingon” in order to get attention for your own language school is too much of a gimmick, a public relation marketing trick.

And they are correct if you overlook the true nature what people are looking for when they want to learn Klingon in the first place.

Your language school might certainly not exclusively teach Klingon yourself, but capturing the passion and excitement for learning languages is a powerful force to attract new open-minded language students in the first place.

Just as your language school might offer specialist city-tours, cooking classes or cultural exploration activities in connecting with teaching languages, consider Klingon as a placeholder for curious people wanting to explore foreign cultures.

You might want to consider teaching another special dialect of a language that is uncommon. Like the Picard language dialect, also known as Chti, that even made it into the movie “Welcome to the Sticks” as a very intense French/Belgium dialect.

Klingon could be – as much as any other dialect – promote open-mindedness and will certainly attract a type of language student that is adventurous.

From the point of online marketing for your language school, it is certainly a lesson that as a company you should first focus on promoting language skills that are less common as it is much easier to become recognized that way.

Even if your language school does earn the majority of your money by teaching English, French or Spanish instead of Klingon, Chti or any other local dialects:

Promoting those special language skills makes it much easier to work with a specific marketing budget and see faster sales as a result.

Those special language students are often very likely to book mainstream language courses – because they loved the fact that you offered something very specific to their passion in the first place and then extend that trust to more practical languages they need for their career and professional advancement.

Try it out yourself – add a small workshop about an exotic language or dialect (not necessarily Klingon, but then, why not?) to your language school website this year and see how that additional offer results in new language students and an increased awareness in the language services you offer.

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