RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,668
Posts: 5,429,418
Members: 24,821
Currently online: 442
Newest member: SB118_Laxyn


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Welcome to the Trek BBS! > General Trek Discussion

General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 12 2012, 02:07 AM   #16
jayrath
Fleet Captain
 
Location: West Hollywood, Calif., USA
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Timo wrote: View Post
I think the real question here is, why do they teach languages?

And I don't mean, why do they teach languages at the Academy? I mean, why bother at all, anywhere? Obviously, "language" is an outdated concept in Star Trek, having been replaced by infallible interpretation machinery. There is no value in a shared code of communication because the machinery makes all codes interchangeable. Learning, say, English is not really useful for service in Starfleet, because everything ever said (or, apparently, printed) will also be translated to your native Udmurtian or perhaps your native Obscure Muttering and Mumbling, and vice versa.

Languages are useless, except as hobbies. Which is as good a reason to study Latin as anything else.

Timo Saloniemi
I always admire your posts, Timo, except for this one. As noted above, translation of ancient texts provides a poor understanding of literature compared to the original language. Even today, simple puns evident in ancient literature are indistinguishable. Short of inserting smiley faces, how are we to understand the writers' true intent, except by learning the languages in which they wrote?

Why do you think there are so many different editions of the Bible? The New Revised Standard edition is extremely different from the King James translation. To get at true meaning, you need to go back to primary sources and original language.
jayrath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 03:08 AM   #17
Elias Vaughn
Captain
 
Elias Vaughn's Avatar
 
Location: Dead. Or in the Celestial Temple. One of the two.
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Of course an archaeology aficionado like Picard would probably elect to take a Latin class. Doesn't surprise me.

Did he even say he took Latin at the Academy? Maybe he took classes on the holodeck.
Elias Vaughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 03:55 AM   #18
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

It could have been part of his pre-Academy education. His father seems to be a "traditionalist", so I can see Picard being made to learn a dead language.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 04:12 AM   #19
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Of course, the real reason that they all learn Latin is so that when they are surrounded by evil aliens, they can chat in Latin and come up with a plan and no one else can understand what they are saying.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 04:16 AM   #20
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Of course, the real reason that they all learn Latin is so that when they are surrounded by evil aliens, they can chat in Latin and come up with a plan and no one else can understand what they are saying.
Oddly enough, it doesn't work with Romulans.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 04:19 AM   #21
EmperorTiberius
Captain
 
EmperorTiberius's Avatar
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Santa Kang wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Of course, the real reason that they all learn Latin is so that when they are surrounded by evil aliens, they can chat in Latin and come up with a plan and no one else can understand what they are saying.
Oddly enough, it doesn't work with Romulans.
EmperorTiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 05:50 AM   #22
RPJOB
Commander
 
RPJOB's Avatar
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Uhura Prime knew Swahili but not Klingon. Her Nu-counterpart knew all three dialects of Romulan but apparently they are so similar to Vulcan that the previous communications officer couldn't tell them apart. Maybe Nu-Uhura simply picked up Vulcan from her boyfriend and the Romulan dialects were childishly simple for her. Much as Asian languages have words that appear to western ears to ve quite similar in places but to a native speaker a minor difference in tone or pitch changes the meaning. Uhura's good ear could simply have made those differences more obvious. It's not that she learned Romulan, she learned Vulcan and picked up Romulan almost by default. She could have just wanted to play the pre-holodeck version of Vulcan Love Slave in it's original language.
__________________
We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill - today! - Kirk - A Taste of Armageddon
RPJOB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 06:34 AM   #23
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

RPJOB wrote: View Post
She could have just wanted to play the pre-holodeck version of Vulcan Love Slave in it's original language.
Which role do you think she played?


T'Girl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old December 12 2012, 09:40 AM   #24
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

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?

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old December 13 2012, 07:20 AM   #25
emergencyfruit
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
View emergencyfruit's Twitter Profile
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Learning languages is engaging and complex, and specifically Latin would allow a much greater appreciation of history, including everything Earth history can teach us about war, diplomacy, politics, and human behavior over the long run.

And while technically the universal translators can make fluent changes, sometimes there may simply be no English word to match the foreign one. You see that today all the time with cultural idioms, or even simple vocabulary. In German, there's a non-vulgar word which refers to a person who is outrageously tactless, arrogant, or otherwise insufferable: Backpfeifengesicht. The closest approximation English can make is "a face that cries out for a fist in it". So the universal translators, on seeing that word, must either turn the one word into that roundabout (if humorous) phrase, or else replace it with some other, less perfect word. Perfectly fine for day-to-day, but the true zest of the original would be forever just out of reach...
emergencyfruit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13 2012, 08:27 AM   #26
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Santa Kang wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Of course, the real reason that they all learn Latin is so that when they are surrounded by evil aliens, they can chat in Latin and come up with a plan and no one else can understand what they are saying.
Oddly enough, it doesn't work with Romulans.
Or the Borg...
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13 2012, 02:38 PM   #27
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

emergencyfruit wrote: View Post
In German, there's a non-vulgar word which refers to a person who is outrageously tactless, arrogant, or otherwise insufferable: Backpfeifengesicht. The closest approximation English can make is "a face that cries out for a fist in it". So the universal translators, on seeing that word, must either turn the one word into that roundabout (if humorous) phrase, or else replace it with some other, less perfect word. Perfectly fine for day-to-day, but the true zest of the original would be forever just out of reach...
Actually it seems to be a popular English idiom these days to say that someone has a "punchable" face. So that comes pretty close.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old December 13 2012, 04:33 PM   #28
Retu
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Finland
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Maybe Latin was just an extracurricular course, that Picard took. After all, he did encourage Wesley in "Samaritan Snare" to study more than Academy had to offer.

PICARD: There is no greater challenge than the study of philosophy.

WESLEY: William James sure won't be on my Starfleet exams.

PICARD: The important things never will be. Anyone can be trained to deal with technology, and the mechanics of piloting a starship.

WESLEY: But Starfleet Academy--

PICARD: It takes more than just that. Open your mind to the past... to history, art, philosophy. And then... this will mean something.
__________________
"God runs electromagnetics by wave theory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,
and the Devil runs them by quantum theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and
Saturday."
-Sir William Bragg
Retu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14 2012, 05:41 PM   #29
Greg Cox
Vice Admiral
 
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

Plus, you never know when you're going to get stranded on a Roman gladiator planet without a universal translator . . ..
__________________
www.gregcox-author.com
Greg Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14 2012, 06:00 PM   #30
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: They teach Latin at Starfleet Academy?

^Oh, that's no problem. They conveniently speak modern English on Roman gladiator planets.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.