To get at true meaning, you need to go back to primary sources and original language.
Only if the translation is imperfect. But the Universal Translator gets puns and nuances across all right - and even translates an alien term for a cave-dwelling slave race as "troglyte", inserting suggestive Greek roots where there originally were none, to demonstrate that it is way smarter than its users!
The UT makes language a completely outdated concept. Not just the learning
of languages, but their very existence
. It is the new thing that replaces language.
Or at least it should damn well suffice for one. No hero ought to require even a native language in order to be perfectly understood and to perfectly understand everybody else, across lightyears and millennia and cultural and biological borders if need be. Every time this does not happen is an inconsistency in Star Trek, really.
...Perhaps the UT only replaced language in the 24th century?
What a depressing way to look at it.
I used to type essays and term papers for college and university students. One of my clients was from a Cree reserve. Her first language was Cree. She told me that she sometimes had trouble completing her assignments because some of the concepts she wanted to discuss simply had NO WORDS in English to adequately describe them and convey the meaning she wanted to get across.
If the concept itself doesn't exist in a language, good luck with that universal translator.
And consider this: Latin is mainly used by doctors and scientists, and people who want to learn it so they can read the old Roman poets, playwrights, and historians in their original versions (that's why I'm trying to learn it). But just because very few people use it NOW, who is to say it won't ever go through a revival
? I can just see a bunch of historical re-enactors who decide to go off and set up their own "New Rome" colony somewhere. It would be entirely natural that they would want to learn Latin and use it in their daily lives.
Besides... Patrick Stewart did a masterful job of portraying the villainous Lucius Aelius Sejanus in the BBC series I, Claudius
. Star Trek and Latin are a natural fit.