"The Paradise Syndrome": How Does Kirk Understand the Native Language?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Joanna McCoy-Kirk, Jun 11, 2022.

  1. Joanna McCoy-Kirk

    Joanna McCoy-Kirk Commodore Commodore

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    How does Kirk understand Miramanee and her people? He left his communicator on the floor inside the obelisk after he was zapped by the memory beam, so no universal translator. I guess this is one of the episode's flaws (among many others).
     
  2. scotpens

    scotpens scotpens Premium Member

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    The only time a "universal translator" was used in Trek TOS was in the season 2 episode "Metamorphosis."

    As to how Kirk was able to communicate with Miramanee's people, that's easy. Obviously, everyone in the galaxy speaks English!
     
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  3. Joanna McCoy-Kirk

    Joanna McCoy-Kirk Commodore Commodore

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    Kirk had a universal translator/recording device that the Metrons gave him when he faced the Gorn. When I made my original post, I had in mind the ENT communicators that IIRC had a universal translator built-in.
     
  4. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    I assume the memory beam that he activated out of sequence still imparted the ability to understand and speak the language of the local natives. ;)
     
  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah. The Preservers kept pushing out software upgrades, but it was mostly bells and whistles. This one actually did something.
     
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  6. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  7. shapeshifter

    shapeshifter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A little bit of this episode's beautiful soundtrack to read this thread to...
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Garth of Algar Premium Member

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    Kirk grew up on the Meskwaki Settlement in Iowa and is fluent in Meskwakiatoweni, an Algonquin language*

    *Yes, I just made that up.
     
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  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This must be the music-and-effects track. Guess someone at CBS Digital made a copy for himself when the separate elements were in play. Boy, right up until 2012 I would have paid a lot of money for these recordings. And then I did pay a lot of money for the 15-CD box set, and problem solved. :bolian:
     
  10. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kirk spoke Hekawi. Luckily, it was the same language Miramanee's people spoke.
     
  11. MarkusTay

    MarkusTay Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Kirk speaks the 'universal language of love'. :lol:
     
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  12. MarkusTay

    MarkusTay Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sorry for a DP, but its relevant...

    So last night I started a rewatch of Voyager. Its the second time I rewatched it, so this time I am in 'persnickity notice every detail' mode. I get up to the fourth episode (2nd after the pilot), and they are going down to their first planet. There's some timey-wimey hijinks, but in the end the pre-warp culture (About where we are now) captures them, and about halfway through the episode their communicators are confiscated and left in a room (part of the plot to build drama, because these were found melted before/after). Here's the thing - Janeway and Paris spend the rest of the episode in native clothing, without any of their gear - and as I said, a plot-point was made that the communicators were left far away - and they continue to talk and interact with the natives as if nothing at all has happened. HOW?

    And while I liked the episode, I hate episodes that end with "none of this ever really happened", which sadly happened quite a few times in Voyager. I found it interesting that Kes had a Guinan-like ability to still know something changed at the end, but thats food for another thread in another sub-section.
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In DS9 "Little Green Men" (a good comedy episode), Quark & Co. have universal translators in their ear canals, like hearing aids. They might even have been surgical implants, like The Bionic Woman had. Maybe that was standard for Starfleet officers of the period as well.

    VOY hit the reset button way too often, and I hated it too. But it was still a great series. Seven and the Doctor were fantastic. Now that I think of it, TOS and TNG must have had a magic touch for this, because I never got annoyed by their ending every episode with the premise unaltered. But VOY was always making you feel like they cheated at the the end.

    I just remembered (I haven't seen the spinoffs in decades): I was annoyed by TNG "Masks" hitting the reset button at the end, magically restoring the Enterprise to factory condition. They should have ended it by calling for a space tug to take the Enterprise back to the yard for a refit. Just that one line of dialogue at the end, and they would have had the speck of realism upon which so much hangs.
     
  14. MarkusTay

    MarkusTay Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I assumed the communicators were now also the Universal translators from TOS and Enterprise. I actually think that was in canon somewhere*, because otherwise I don't know why I would think that (I usually remember when I 'head canon' something). The Ferengi having them surgically implanted at an early age makes perfect sense, otherwise Ferengi would only be able to swindle other Ferengi (which I am sure still happens way more than it should). Plus, you can hide a LOT in those ears.

    While Doctor Who had the 'TARDIS makes it so you understand the local language' shtick, and Farscape had the 'understand languages' magic injection, and both were pretty far-fetched, they're still a lot better than how ST just ignores the whole problem.

    *I actually just went and checked, and translators ARE built into communicators, but the UT devices are still in use for new species, because the communicators will only translate pre-programmed languages (at least in the Ent/TOS era. Once the Federation has a working data-base, the assumption is that the communicators get updated (I'm sure they have some form of WiFi on starships). Oddly, Sato had already developed the tech enough in Ent. so that delegates at a conference only needed small mike-like devices they clipped-on, so if they were already getting that small in Ent., it makes sense that they may have been implants by the time of Voy. And to bring this back around, that means that in Kirk's era they likely had the same setup, only even smaller, so they only needed a translator when encountering something new. Thus, they could have already used that tech on the natives, and the actual translator device they had hidden somewhere was updated, all before the episode even starts. Of course, that still wouldn't explain where Kirk had it, but as I said, going by Ent. tech, it could have already been small enough to be subcutaneous... or a suppository. LOL "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not an anal excavator!"
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
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  15. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    From TMP novel, not canon of course but they have an implant in their heads and the Universal Translator is needed for unknown languages or weirdos or lets just hand-wave it in like almost every other science fiction show..
     
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  16. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    ENT established that translators were built into the communicators. So, it's a retcon that comes after TOS, TNG, DS9, & VOY. It's a nice retcon, but one nonetheless.

    If we listed the number of times the crew could speak with and understand natives without the communicator present, we might have a nice list.
     
  17. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    The translator function goes back at least to VGR's "The 37s," when Janeway points to her badge when she tells the unfrozen people about the universal translator.
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    True, but later in the season the Kazon remove all the badges when they abandon the crew on the planet and steal the ship. Everyone still communicates no problem. Maybe Tuvok speaks English, but Kes? Neelix???

    Fortunately, the dialogue from The 37s is just vague enough for us to interpret it differently:
    [​IMG]
    JANEWAY: Please, if you'll just listen for a moment, I'll try to explain.
    NOGAMI: You are all speaking Japanese.
    HAYES: Sounds to me like you are speaking English.
    JANEWAY: It's because of a device we have. A universal translator. It allows us to talk to each other even though our languages aren't the same.​

    Janeway doesn't say that she's wearing the UT, just that she has it. Since the Ferengi have UTs small enough to fit inside their ears unseen, perhaps Starfleet officers have subcutaneous implants on their hands and THAT'S what she's demonstrating?*

    Or maybe she is simply lying to the 20th Century primitives in order to make the explanation easier for them to understand? :devil:


    *I did not invent this theory but read it too many years ago to remember where
     
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  19. Methuselah Flint

    Methuselah Flint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No I don't think so. I think this is a fan extracting the dialogue-free audio from the DVDs.
     
  20. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How would one go about doing this? I didn't think there was a dialog-free audio track.

    Kor
     
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