do klingons use universal translators?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Rÿcher, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Rÿcher

    Rÿcher Fleet Captain

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    Just wondering because in Star Trek IV, the UT wasn't considered an option in communicating with the probe.

    What about Spock on EVA? Couldn't he have tried to talk to the probe al-a V'ger/Ilia?
     
  2. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, if the probe were draining all power from the ships, bases and planets in the area, it would seem likely that any attempt at an EVA would be doomed, as the power used to control the person's movement would be disabled. And we know that Spock has to be in physical contact with the subject in order to establish good two-way communication.

    As for the universal translator being an option for communicating with the probe, that's a good point. If the whalesong is supposed to be an actual form of language that allows for conversation between the probe and the whales, it would seem the UT should be able to translate it.

    But, as we know, the UT is a rather ambiguous concept that has come and gone and changed dramatically with the needs of the plot. It's ranged from a hand-held device used for specific needs to something embedded in a communicator that is constantly providing translation to apparently being completely forgotten and unused such as in TVH and TUC. So who knows what it can or can't do?
     
  3. Rÿcher

    Rÿcher Fleet Captain

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    actually, we've seen Spock communicate through walls, by staring and with gloves on (TMP)

    Good point about the power drain and the UT. That wouldn't have worked.
     
  4. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We've seen him communicate in some fashion without direct contact, but have we ever seen him establish meaningful two-way communication without it? For example, he was able to plant a "suggestion" into the guard's mind in "By Any Other Name," but had to have physical contact with the Horta in "Devil in the Dark" in order to be able to have a dialogue with it.
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The UT works best with Carbon based Biped brains?
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding power drain, the Probe didn't drain power from humans. So simply use a UT powered by the same sort of processes that run within the human body.

    That's a classic and pretty idiotic scifi cliche, really - that technology stops working, but somehow humans don't stop working. Let's face it: we are technology, too. We run on the very same processes that fire up our mobile phones or automobiles or submachine guns. If the alien entity of the week jams those technologies, odds are that we will perish in horrible pain as well.

    Regardless, I'd think the UT was already doing its automatic best at translating the Probe's rantings. It just wasn't having much success. We could speculate that most of the alien languages encountered by our heroes are relatively easy to decipher because they follow the same sort of patterns, inherent in the humanoid psyche and brain structure that is nearly identical across the galaxy. Or we could speculate that the UT is always slow in catching up with new languages, and that it only seems to be so fast and successful in standard ship-to-ship encounters with new aliens because standard ship-to-ship encounters involve the polite exchange of helpful data bursts between the respective computers before communications begin. The probe simply didn't send such a burst to the Federation UTs.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    EMP weapons destroy electronics, yet don't harm people. There's plenty of technology that can "jam" or "wipe out" technology but not harm humans.
     
  8. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    That's interesting.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Only unprotected technology, though. If you want to EMP out a computer circuit that has been properly protected, you're going to fry out the person holding that circuit in his pocket first.

    That's the classic conceit: that all scifi technology is jammable in a manner that doesn't harm the proximal lifeforms. In the usual case, one would assume that most technology would be far more robust than the corresponding biological functions in the target area, and that only a select few pieces of technology would be truly vulnerable to "nonlethal" weapons. Not so in scifi...

    Except for SG-1, perhaps. (But they, too, eventually manage to find a way to jam supposedly foolproof submachine guns without jamming O'Neill's digestion or knee joints. Although I trust the Tollan technology would have been able to selectively jam O'Neill's knee if he literally tried to kick Tollan ass.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Elder Knight

    Elder Knight Captain Captain

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    No, they're TOUGH! They use those awful "Latin I" texts from the ancient high schools and work their way back to the future.
     

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