IO9’s article on dramatic works that should be performed in sci-fi languages reminded me of an activity I did once in a class on religion and sci-fi, getting students to “translate” (in actual fact, imagine they are explaining) a passage from the Bible or other Scriptures to someone from another planet. It provides an interesting opportunity to consider whether there could be concepts so foreign that no translation would be possible, or that any translation either would not make sense or would be misunderstood.
The Bible has in fact been translated into Klingon. Not only is there discussion of the subject on the Bible Works software web site, but the Tyndale House web site links to a place where you can view the Klingon side by side with the Greek text. There is also a Sword module and one for Palm Bible, The Klingon Language Version of the World English Bible Psalms for Kindle and a blog A Klingon Word from The Word. There is even a creationist web site with an introduction in Klingon! And lest you consider this purely sectarian, there is also a site that has made some efforts to translate the Book of Mormon into Klingon too.
On YouTube, you can hear it read to you (although not pronounced particularly well):
What serious things do you think can be learned from an exercise like this? What other fictional languages has the Bible been translated into? What humorous scenarios can you imagine if certain translations were made into Klingon, or Wookie, or the musical language from Close Encounters?