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Remembering 2019: Welsh language reaches the final frontier with Star Trek debut

29 May 2023 2 minute read
Star Trek Discovery

As Nation.Cymru continues to celebrate its birthday, we have been looking back at some of the big hitters of each of the last six years – this, from 2019, looks at that moment when the Welsh language went interstellar…

The Welsh language will be heard by millions of Star Trek fans tuning in to the latest episode.

In an episode of the second series of Star Trek Discovery debuting today on Netflix, the language is heard around ten minutes into the programme.

The language is heard when the Universal Translator – which translates everyone into English – breaks down and multiple languages are heard.

Star Trek fan Ioan Talfryn heard the use of Welsh and told Golwg 360 that he thought it help the language’s international profile.

“The fact that Netflix has considered using the Welsh language is a big thing,” he said.

“A lot of people around the world with have their interest piqued by hearing it being spoken.”

The makers of the show haven’t attempted to subtitle the language, however. They simply read [Speaking Welsh].

Other tenuous Welsh connections

Herb Solow, who commissioned the original Star Trek TV show, once lived in the Welsh-speaking town of Lampeter, Ceredigion, and his wife, Harrison, lectured at the town’s university.

Wales has previously featured in a Star Trek novel, Day of the Vipers. A Welsh character was chosen to infiltrate an alien planet because her Welsh accent sounded similar to the way the aliens spoke.

The Welsh Government once replied to a query about UFO sightings at Cardiff Airport in the invented Star Trek language, Klingon.

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