Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quibble About Sci-Fi Languages

Vulcans are from the planet Vulcan and speak Vulcan. Just like humans are from the planet Human and speak human, right?

That's a bit ridiculous. Apparently by the time we develop faster-than-light space travel, all of us humans will all speak just one language, which will be called Human. In my Star Trek experience, I have never heard of Klingons speaking a different Klingon language other than Klingon. (Although to their credit, Klingons do not originate from a planet Klingon; they originate from Qo'noS.)

I understand that Spanish people speak Spanish and are from Spain (French, German Portuguese, etc.). But the species is referred to as human.

Star Wars is better about this subject, but not by too much. They still have Hutts who speak Huttese (a lingua franca along with Galactic Basic a.k.a. English) and originate from Nal Hutta. But at least Wookiees are from Kashyyyk and speak Shyriiwook. This still doesn't fix the "problem" that all members of that species unrealistically speak the same language.

Then again, I can sympathize. It would have been quite a pain to devise additional names for the home planet and language every time you introduced a new species of sentient being.

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9 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Harmony

    Perhaps Vulcan and Klingon and Shyriiwook are the lingua francas of their species, and since it would be impossible for language students to learn every single major language of a species they only speak in that language to outsiders?

    But, yeah, I hear you. And then there's the little quibble about how all those planets have only one climate. But that might just be a Star Wars thing?

  • Ginny

    I wish I could figure out an emoticon with one raised eyebrow and an arrogant, yet confused look.


  • JunkMale


  • Birdie

    I thought that Tech and I were the only people who actually spent our time thinking about these things! lol

  • Anne Marie@Married to the Empire

    You're a hoot! You've really given this some thought.

  • Smockity Frocks

    Completely off topic, but JM or Harmony, could you tutor me on how to install a favicon? I see that you have one. I made one, 16x16 and saved it as favicon.ico into my documents, but when I try to install the code (that I copied from one of those "How to install favicons" articles) in the "head" section of my blog's html, it's a no go.

  • JunkMale


    Just wanted to let you know that I will address your question, but we are very busy today, so I will let you know soon.

  • TCW

    I always assumed that when the United Federation of Planets came into power English was the official language of earth and became the official language of the Federation. This is most likely why other civilizations are all able to speak english. I'm assuming that certain civilizations such as the Klingon's who are very proud of their culture and language where less than happy to comply and thus speak in their language most of the time, etc. hmmm, but who knows...fun to think about though!

  • Anne Marie@Married to the Empire

    I would like to add that they have Universal Translators; therefore, different cultures can all understand each other, regardless of what language they speak. And now I'm feeling especially geeky for knowing that! LOL.