Klingon, Elvish And Dothraki Translators Needed For Public Art Tour

Jul 7, 2016

Pictured is Elvish Art. The Office of Public Art is looking for people who speak J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional language to conduct special tours.
Credit Andrea Koerner

Know a fictional language? Here’s your chance to show off your skills.

Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art took to Craigslist and Facebook this week seeking translators proficient in Klingon, Elvish and Dothraki to translate a specialty art tour to coincide with the Wizard World conference visiting in November.

Director Renee Piechocki said the office is always looking to broaden its engagement with regional public art by offering an experience passionate fans will find exciting. It’s important to consider different perspectives, she said.

“We align (programs) with interests that we see happening, thinking how can we create a program that meets people with these interests or we align things which are happening in the community,” she said.

While not official languages, tongues spoken in the worlds of Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones can have realistic value in terms of connecting communities.

Tom Mosser and Sarah Zeffiro's "Two Andys" at the end of Strawberry Way is a quintessential piece of Pittsburgh's public art.
Credit Office of Public Art

And if you know Dothraki but aren’t fluent in art, have no fear, Piechocki said.

Translators are only expected to repeat what an art expert says during a tour, and because most tour participants will probably speak English, they’ll most likely receive the information twice.

That repetition is a good thing, Piechocki said.

“They’ll have the benefit of hearing it in English and then hearing it in a language they’ve studied as a passion,” she said. “I think it’ll be a great question for us to ask once they finish the tour: How was it in English? How was it in Elvish?”

The OPA, a branch of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, plans to study how tailored tours can bring art to specific audiences, including both new Pittsburghers and first-time visitors. They've also tried art-infused yoga and dog-friendly walking tours, Piechocki said.

"Public art is an instigation for a conversation within a community," Renee Piechocki said. Above, her quote is translated into Elvish.
Credit 90.5 WESA

Tickets purchased in advance run $8 and jump to $10 the day of the event; specific times, dates and locations are forthcoming. 

With all the attention, Piechocki said she's expecting a sell-out show.

“I think it’s captured people’s imaginations,” she said.

So far, no potential translators have responded.