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Old January 23 2014, 10:58 AM   #1
ReadyAndWilling
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Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Hey guys, this has been bothering me for a while. I've thought about this for a long time and I couldn't come up with an answer: How does everyone speak English?

Is this ever explained? I've seen every episode of SG1 and I can't recall it.
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Old January 23 2014, 11:26 AM   #2
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Because it's made for an English speaking audience and thus they all speak English.

As for an in-universe answer, not sure if it ever gets answered, I'm sure in Atlantis and Universe there were a couple of alien species that don't speak the Queens English.
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Old January 23 2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

It's been a while but I think one of the novels said it was something to do with the stargate. But that's about the best answer you are going to get but as said above it's was made in an English speaking country.
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Old January 23 2014, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

That was supposed to be the gist of it. You get different languages when people are separated or develop independently. These worlds were all seeded with slaves and whatnot, and had contact through the stargate. Common starting point plus contact, thus same language.

Should be Egyptian, I suppose, but show would suck if we couldn't understand anything being said, 10 seasons of subtitles for everything wouldn't work...
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Old January 23 2014, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

The Abydos people didn't speak English in the theatrical movie, did they?
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Old January 23 2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

^Nope.

oh, and "a wizard did it".
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Old January 23 2014, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
Hey guys, this has been bothering me for a while. I've thought about this for a long time and I couldn't come up with an answer: How does everyone speak English?

Is this ever explained? I've seen every episode of SG1 and I can't recall it.
You know it's a good question. Because in all of documented fictional works between TV, movies, books, all of that never ONCE has two people from different cultures ever been shown to speak the same language.

I mean, it's just unheard of! It's not like there's a TV series out there where characters met a different alien race every week and somehow were able to communicate perfectly with only the thinnest and silliest of explanations.

Stargate SG1 certainly dropped the ball here and in no way at all continued a trope that's literally been used for decades.
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Old January 23 2014, 07:14 PM   #8
Kelthaz
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
Hey guys, this has been bothering me for a while. I've thought about this for a long time and I couldn't come up with an answer: How does everyone speak English?

Is this ever explained? I've seen every episode of SG1 and I can't recall it.
You know it's a good question. Because in all of documented fictional works between TV, movies, books, all of that never ONCE has two people from different cultures ever been shown to speak the same language.

I mean, it's just unheard of! It's not like there's a TV series out there where characters met a different alien race every week and somehow were able to communicate perfectly with only the thinnest and silliest of explanations.

Stargate SG1 certainly dropped the ball here and in no way at all continued a trope that's literally been used for decades.
Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?

It is a common trope, but many shows do at least have a flimsy excuse to justify everyone speaking the same language. Star Trek has the universal translator and Doctor Who has the Tardis automatically translate for you.
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Old January 23 2014, 07:26 PM   #9
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

I wouldn't be surprised if they have a blink and you miss it mention of the Stargate working as a universal translator, as well (Goa'uld is to primitiv to be translated apparently), that icks in once you traveld a couple of times through the gate.
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Old January 23 2014, 07:57 PM   #10
sojourner
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Better yet, since the SG-1 Stargate didn't have a DHD, we can guess that the first few trips through they hadn't figured out how to enable the translation function. QED.
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Old January 23 2014, 08:38 PM   #11
George Steinbrenner
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

We've seen that the various cultures in the SG universe have different *written* languages, so it stands to reason that their spoken languages are unique as well. There isn't any reference to a universal translator that's a separate device, so it's implied that the Gate itself performs that function.
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Old January 24 2014, 01:25 AM   #12
I Am Groot
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Out-Universe Real Explanation:

It's a show for a primarily English speaking audience, so it's just a conceit. Plus, having everyone speak a different ancient language in every episode would be impossible logistically.

In-Universe Bullshit Explanation
(I'm just making this up; it's not official in any way, though it might be similar to what MacLeod says is in one of the novels):

The Ancients, using technology derived from telepathic devices like the Ark of Truth and the Long Range Communications Stones, incorporated the equivalent of a universal translator in every DHD in order to facilitate communication between the different cultures that they had spread among the stars. This tech was the basis for the ancient story of the Tower of Babel, and its disabling by Ra was the basis for the Genesis story about how God confounded the people's speech and spread them out across the Earth.

Likewise, the translation matrix on Abydos was disabled when Ra took the DHD in order to prevent his slave population from getting assistance from other cultures in resisting him, so their people had to learn English from O'Neill's team the hard way until Ra was defeated and his ship was blown up. That's why they still spoke ancient Egyptian when Daniel Jackson first started talking to them.

I'm sure there are inconsistencies with this throughout the show, but it should work as a general explanation if you absolutely need one. I don't recall if the Abydosians spoke English or not when they encountered them again in the SG-1 pilot and later episodes -- if not, just say that their translation matrix was never repaired after Ra was defeated.

ETA: Whoops, I should read the later posts before responding.
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Old January 24 2014, 01:29 AM   #13
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Because watching a show where nobody speaks the same language all the time would be incredibly dull.
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Old January 24 2014, 01:36 AM   #14
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Magic dust.
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Old January 24 2014, 01:39 AM   #15
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Re: Stargate SG1: How does everyone speak English?

Kelthaz wrote: View Post
Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?
Countless threads asking for shows similar to other shows.
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