Ln X wrote:
If non-humans are not speaking English then why are their mouths forming English words? I mean early on in DS9 Kira and the Bajoran Militia would know only Bajora and a bit of Cardassian. So the UTs would translate the Bajora to Federation Standard, but the mouths of the Bajorans would be speaking Bajora and not FS.
Also acoustically you would hear Bajora being spoken from the Bajorans and FS coming from the UT. That could get distracting pretty quick...
But that's just the magic of UT's. The only time I remember a translator not entirely blocking out the original spoken words is the courtroom scene in TUC, which is 23rd century, and Klingon tech as well. Even on Voyager, where we can be guaranteed that Federation standard is entirely unknown, the officers have routine face to face meetings with entirely unknown aliens via the UTs without any distracting double-language acoustics...
I don't think that the UT would be as passive of a technology as is presented for dramatic purposes. Inidividual UTs probably interface with the available technology around them to provide noise cancellation and acoustic projection/lensing where it's necessary. The user likely has the option of selecting how they are heard, perhaps preventing some language from being continuously translated or to provide an amount of privacy. Indeed, the user can probably select the volume at which they are heard, allowing them to speak more quietly than normal and not contributing to the overall acoustic pollution.