Spoilers Everyone's native language

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by F. King Daniel, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But wouldn't a language that almost no one speaks become lost in such an apocalyptic event?
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    a) Wouldn't is the wrong word. It certainly could become lost, but it not necessarily would. According to Wikipedia, Esperanto has potentially two million speakers worldwide in 120 countries. Such a living language with such a widely distributed population of speakers could easily survive a war such as Star Trek's that didn't wipe out everybody; we know that much information did survive.
    b) It was a joke in the first place.
     
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  3. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not canon,but should there be a Federation Standard English, Vulcan, Tellerite,etc?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    The Italian language was at least grammatically correct but the pronunciation was atrocious (for a moment I thought it was Spanish...)
     
  5. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think a "Standard" should be a Standard across the entity. In this case Federation Standard is English because the Federation is HQ'd on Earth, partially in English-speaking regions (San Francisco and... France... French is somehow a dead language).

    Vulcan and Tellar Prime have multiple languages in non-canon sources and common sense, but I feel that they have a primary trading language or "PLANET Standard" (Vulcan Standard, Tellar Standard, Andoria Standard, etc.) that is determined at the planetary level.
     
  6. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Sorry. Moderator

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    Data may have called it "obscure", but it seems to be alive and well in the Discovery era. I recognized French in the scene this thread is about, and the season 1 finale had French in the Federation logo in the scene set in Paris:

    [​IMG]

    The lighting makes it a little difficult to read, but it says Fédération des Planètes Unies. It's a little easier to read in the original concept art:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    It's also on the sign outside the building, also hard to read.
     
  8. gazomg

    gazomg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Beside the UFP english version
    there are actually 2 french versions that appear on screen
    The FPU as seen above in discovery, but another UPF which is I believe is Unie Planètes de le Fédération.

    The UPF logo can be seen on the top part of the diplomatic badges worn by the federation delegates in the movie ST 4.

    Here is a reworked version of said emblem
    http://www.imagebam.com/image/725ae61350500553
     
  9. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The big reveal in Bread and Circuses (TOS) wouldn't have made sense if the Starfleet officers didn't understand English. Son verses sun.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They even took the extra step of stating that the natives spoke English specifically.

    So, clearly the work of a meddler from Earth with a fetish for swords and sandals. (Whether he or she also introduced the concept of the Son to the society, or whether Uhura just had too vivid an imagination, we can't really tell.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That seems obvious to you and me, but why didn't Kirk (or Uhura or McCoy or Spock or R.M. Merik) say so? They just all seemed to shrug and go "Oh, this sh** again!" when presented with another inexplicably Earth-like culture that speaks near-perfect English. In fact, they start talking about Hodgkin's Law as if that explains any of it.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I could see it as a learning curve. FIrst, it's a worlds-shattering surprise and mystery ("Miri"); then, it's reported to the superiors, and they in their wisdom come up with a rationalization ("Bread and Circuses"); and then it turns out the rationalization doesn't work at all, and any alternative approach is deemed fine but resignation to the mystery for the time being is also fine ("Omega Glory").

    We in our infinitely greater wisdom can now deduce that meddling is the likeliest alternative - even though Kirk was aware all the time of folks like John Gill being sent places, and should have considered the possibility of this also happening without him being aware of it. But Kirk could have been the first out there to face the phenomenon.

    Except of course he wasn't, as per "North Star" and the like. "Hey, they must be long-lost Earthlings somehow!" would be the default theory after Archer's adventures. But that may have been a learning curve, too, and a later adventurer before Kirk proved that the default theory didn't work all that well.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Obviously Merik taught the entire planet English.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  14. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    I always assumed it looked that way because the UT has a telepathic aspect (as Kirk says in metamorphosis), which is also how people can speak Klingon or French or whatever when they want to (like Donna speaking Latin in Doctor Who).
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It makes sense to insist that X taught the entire planet Y. The process that would take a planet from Roman slave-based technology to the witnessed machine-based technology would also erode away most signs of "Romanity", just like it has in our reality and wrt many types of culture here. So we need a meddler who imposes either the technology or the culture on a society that originally only had one of those.

    If the process is slow enough, the meddler can first give the planet some globalizing tech, and then introduce a global monoculture with a monolanguage through that tech. But the tech we saw probably wouldn't have sufficed for the deed yet. A single John Gill style meddler working for a single human lifetime would be more likely to make a semi-globalized world see the benefits of unified culture through a global war of conquest (Gill's Nazi dream), but here the pseudo-Romans insist they have not seen war for quite a while. An industrious meddler could introduce technology to a stagnant culture, though - and stagnant is what we want to believe in, so that slavery has not evaporated with the introduction of domestic appliances. Perhaps English is the result of global television (note how it truly is global, despite being merely 1950s/1960s level otherwise, since Uhura can pick transmissions from an entirely random location and home in on the very center of Merrick mischief!), and the Roman fashion is merely an utterly whimsical "false retro" thing triggered by the popular gladiator entertainment program that was conceptualized by the meddler?

    That is, the place never was Rome (but instead a generic slave-based society), until gladiator sports became popular and every business out there joined the fray, naming their latest products after things mentioned in the TV show.

    In that case, the show might be the only bit of meddling here, and might even be the doing of Merrick. But the timeline doesn't really allow for everybody on the planet to learn English from the show, least of all the assorted Merry Men hiding on the mountains. We'd be better off postulating another John Gill, an Earth eccentric who corrupted the planet perhaps a generation prior... Going to this planet appears trivial for Kirk, and we never learned it would have been difficult for Merrick, either, so many might have gone before, and some might have seen a perfect niche there for playing god.

    ...Umm, to put it briefly. The full treatise might better be suited for the TOS forum. :o

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't buy Hodgkin's Law. Not for a second. It's just too wild of a coincidence. It violates all known laws of statistical probability.

    Kind of like in nuBSG and "All Along The Watchtower."

    Magna Roma, for example...I chalk that up to the Preservers, just like the planet of Native Americans. Only this time, the Preservers took people from ancient Rome. (Still doesn't explain the existence of English, but at least it helps.)
     
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  17. WarpTenLizard

    WarpTenLizard Captain Captain

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    Not our 21st Century English, that's all I can say.

    I have to head-canon that Adira's pronouns aren't literally "they/them," because that just makes no sense at all for the setting. It's ludicrous enough that Humans wouldn't have a singular, gender-neutral pronoun centuries into the future; but after also forming a Federation of countless alien worlds, that must have all kinds of sexes and genders? Are we really meant to believe that in the 32nd Century, the only pronouns in the entire galaxy are "he," "she" or "they?"

    And then there's Adira having to "come out" as non-binary. Again, dated, and makes no sense for the all-accepting utopia of future-Earth. It's just as dated as Kirk's girlfriend lamenting about how "women can't be captains." It would be like having Michael Burnham lament how hard it was for her to hail a space-cab as a Black officer.

    Both Adira's pronouns, and Janice Lester's claim about Starfleet's sexism, I have to head-canon around by believing that the Universal Translator just screwed up, while relaying these future historical documents to use primitive 20th/21st Century humans.
     
  18. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Among humans it's believable they have he, she and they. And how would anyone ever know your preferences unless you told someone about it?? If they'd been through Starfleet Academy or something it'd be on their file, but they're a passenger picked up from Earth sans documentation.
     
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  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Global scale deliberate meddling for a purpose is a good explanation, since we see it done already: John Gill turned an entire planet into Nazi Germany, complete with uniforms and mannerisms. Global meddling would probably necessarily involve introducing a global language as well. Gill's chosen one was English, seen written here and there in the stead of the perhaps otherwise expected German. Whoever meddled with Magna Roma could have trivially made the same choice.

    Both Ekos and Magna Roma had global mass media, in sharp contrast with what one would have had on any "real" 1930s or 1960s. Perhaps this also came with a Universal Translator, as a technologically trivial shortcut to globalizing the meddling...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2021
  20. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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