This topic makes me think of the VOY episode "The Chute", where Kim and Paris are in an alien prison, and a prisoner has Kim read his manifesto.
I always wondered how Harry Kim was able to read it, since it would probably be in an alien language, and in a Delta Quadrant one at that, where Federation technology probably wouldn't be able to translate it for him.
Meh, they all understood each other when the talked to each other, so Wibbly Space Magic allows Harry to read the language too. Best not to think about it.
This thread is reminding me of someone's nitpick when Enterprise's In a Mirror, Darkly aired. The nitpick was how could the crew figure out instantly how to operate a Constitution class ship from 100 years in the future. The immediate response someone made was "same way they can figure out instantly how to operate an alien ship from a race they haven't enountered before."