Universal Translator

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Captain McBain, May 14, 2013.

  1. Could the universal translator translate Chewbacca's growls?


    What do you think the translator is closer to decoding?

    A) Calamarain language

    B) Breen tongue

    :eek:
     
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Being the Dominion people had no problem understanding the Breen when their UT was "adjusted" I don't see why not. The masks and static language were just a plot device to give them a mysterious element.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    One would think that two cultures at constant war with each other would customize their respective UTs so that the opposite side would have maximal difficulty understanding what one was saying. For all we know, Cardassian speech was equal gibberish to the Breen...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That would seem a moot point once you take a single prisoner though.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Not really, because the UT can always be re-tuned. A language you learned from your captured opponent today might be outdated four weeks from now.

    Learning the "native" Breen or Cardassian language would not be a tactical concern, because all battlefield communications would be handled via the UT. Prisoner interrogation after surgical removal of UT would yield results in a language the interrogator can comprehend - but that's true of interrogations in all circumstances, and secondary to the tactical consideration of battlefield eavesdropping.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Seriously?

    In WW2, as soon as the Germans figured out that the British could understand German, did they suddenly change what German was?

    Codes and secret communications, yes, you are right. But the basic language, no.
     
  7. Portal

    Portal Commander Red Shirt

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    Did we ever see one surgically implanted? I thought the device worked through the communicator pins.
     
  8. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We see the Ferengi have them in their ears. And given they can still understand each other when their comm badges are taken off for whatever reason, I'm inclined to think they're not there.
     
  9. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    And just one of the parties needs the translator. The Ancient Hew-mons could understand the Ferengi just fine once the latter fixed their UT's.
     
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    They're magic.
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Hell, even in Star Wars Chewie's growls are translatable. Han Solo always understood what he was saying. It's just kept untranslated for the audience.

    In the novels the Breen are considerate enough to translate their language when around other races.
     
  12. The Johnson

    The Johnson Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    The daftness of the universal translator is one of the reason i've resigned all hope of anything star trek like ever happening.
     
  13. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Depends. If the writer of the work in question wanted it to, then it could. If the writer didn't want it to, then it couldn't.

    Whichever one the writer wants.

    Seriously, these things are pretty much made up as they go along. They don't answer these questions until there's a need to answer them, so any answer anyone here gives is no more accurate than whatever you want.
     
  14. Yeah, but just saying 'whatever the writer wants' is a non-answer. If you don't have an intelligent thought, then don't answer!
     
  15. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    An intelligent answer? Considering there are absolutely no facts whatsoever to support any claims made in regards to your questions, it's basically just being made up. Any "intelligent" answer would basically just be guessing, and I'm sure you can do that yourself.

    With the lack of any objective standards, there can be no intelligent answers to your question, rendering them unanswerable.
     
  16. Someone already mentioned that Chewbacca could be somewhat understood in the Star Wars universe. That's an objective fact. I think it's okay to speculate. Otherwise, this website would be reduced to "Who's your favorite Star Trek character?," "What doctor is most proficient?," etc. etc.

    Plus, a few months ago you started a thread asking when machines would be considered to be alive or conscious in the real world. Obviously, no objective facts support such a position, so any of the posts in that thread would be mere guesses. Why, then, did you even start that conversation?
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Is it? In the onscreen version of that universe, Chewbacca doesn't really deliver any information to his fellow adventurers through his growls - except when pointing at a warning light on the Falcon's control panel at the same time, or suggestively waving a gun, etc. Sure, the heroes "answer" as if they understood what Chewbacca said, but the various handlers of Lassie did that a lot, too. Doesn't mean there'd be intelligence at both ends of the conversation.

    The Calamarain appeared just plain alien, plus just a tad hostile. The Breen appeared secretive, and very hostile. Surely the latter would put more effort to thwarting any translation attempts...

    Yes, seriously. What could Germans possibly have to do with this? They didn't have Universal Translators.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I figure one of two things were happening. Either the Ferengi were composing what they wanted to say in their minds, the translator picked this up and fed it back to them in the desired language and the Ferengi consciously speak the words phonetically.

    Or, the translator had more control over the process, the Ferengi were thinking what they wanted to say, at which point the translator completely takes over the process and controls the breath, vocal cords, tongue, lips, and jaw of the Ferengi to produce words in the foreign language.

    :devil:
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  19. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Whatever the writer wants is just about the best answer there is. The UT is magic tech that works or not at the writers' whimsy. Given how we've seen them operate, there is no reason why in Damok the things shouldn't have worked, except the writers didn't want them to.
     
  20. I guess I just don't like the 'what the writer wants' answer. Yes, ultimately, Star Trek is fiction, and so every answer can be given that the writer just happened to do it that way. But this website wouldn't be very much fun if that's the only response people gave for non-opinion questions.
     

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