Tag Archive for TV

Star Trek Foreign Language

Yes, I watch Star Trek. I grew up watching ST with my dad, then during the last season of ST: The Next Generation I saw just about every episode of STTNG. I never got into Deep Space Nine or Voyager or Enterprise.┬áThen, about a year ago I decided to watch STTNG on Netflix start to finish. It took some time and there were a few episodes I didn’t recognize, but I got through it. About a month ago I decided to try watching STDSN… It’s a bit better then I expected.

During a particular episode in which Quark was trying to speak Klingon I had a realization about ST’s concept of a universal translator. Warf was helping him and mainly speaking English, but then a few words came out as Klingon, and then back to English. My realization? How? How was it one second everyone is hearing Warf speak English then Klingon and back to English without any button or other device being accessed, shouldn’t the UTs translate the Klingon phrase?

Based on an episode where Quark travels back to 1950’s Earth (USA to be precise) the Universal Translators are in the Ferengis heads, which leads me to assume it is true for all races [in the future] vs. the UTs used by Kirk and Bones in ST6 (The Undiscovered Country) when they are in a Klingon court and sentenced to blah blah blah. If the device is in someone’s head it could lead to the idea that while speaking something I could think, “keep this in my language.” Plausible, except what about the humanoid hearing the word, what’s there to tell the listener to hear the desired language?

I understand the UTs could be networked to send signals back and forth to say what language to hear, but I don’t see that happening. Again, I reference Quark going back to 1950’s Earth. Quark, his brother, and his nephew had the UTs but the humans did not. This implies the UTs can sense the language it needs to translate to and does not network. Or the UT concept is just straight up broken.

Take away: I’m a dork.