Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Leaving aside the question of what languages people are actually speaking, are there any humans who are confirmed (in a show or in novels) to have a first language was not English or Federation Standard, or who were raised bilingual (English/Standard and their own country's language)?

I'm most interested in characters living post-establishment of the universal translator, but answers about characters from Enterprise are acceptable as well.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 29 down vote accepted
  • Pavel Chekov speaks fluent Russian. He periodically lapses into it when excited, as he did in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock.

KIRK: I'm on my way. Sulu, continue docking procedure.

SULU (OC): Aye sir.

CHEKOV : "Ya ne sumasshedshi! (Я не сумасшедший!)" ("I'm not crazy!")


  • Uhura's first language is apparently Swahili. When her memory is erased in TOS : The Changeling, she uses it while re-learning English.

UHURA: The dog has a, The dog, sikumbuka

CHAPEL: Not Swahili, Uhura. In English. The dog has a ball. See? B, ah, ll. Ball. Now you go ahead.

UHURA: The dog has a ball.

These are both backed up in TOS: The Spectre of the Gun where each person on the bridge hears a warning in their first language.

KIRK: English.

CHEKOV: It was Russian, sir. Every word.

UHURA: No, Captain. It was Swahili.

KIRK: Interesting. Telepathy.


  • Hoshi Sato appears to be bilingual in Japanese, although it's not certain whether she was raised bilingual or learned it at a later date

T'POL: Captain? May I speak with you?

HOSHI: (as Archer takes the pot of oden off the stove and starts to help himself) That is a very complex recipe. I will not serve it till it's just right. My family's reputation is at stake.

enter image description here

  • Captain Picard also speaks fluent French. Given that he was brought up in France, it seems likely that he was raised bilingual:

PICARD: Incroyable! Vous etes Parisienne?

Riker is surprised that she speaks French and a little jealous that she and Picard are hitting it off so well.

MINUET : Au fonde c'est vrai, nous sommes tous Parisienne.

PICARD : Oui, au fonde nous sommes tous Parisienne.


  • Ensign Muniz (DS9 : The Ship) reverts to speaking Spanish when he suffers a serious injury.

INTERIOR - ANOTHER ANGLE as Muniz starts MUTTERING pieces of Spanish... "Lindo"... "que bonita"... "noche"... O'Brien can do nothing but keep Muniz from rocking too violently.

share|improve this answer
    
Is it ever made clear what language the Rozhenko's speak? Their names imply Russian nationality, could it be possible then that Worf's first (human) language was Russian? –  Monty129 Aug 15 at 12:34
    
@Monty129 - I thought about them but I couldn't find any evidence that they speak Russian other than their use of the odd Russian word and cod-Russian accents –  Richard Aug 15 at 12:48
    
@Monty129 Worf was raised near Minsk, now Belarus. He says that at the end of DS9, when eagerly recommending it for a trip. "Minsk". –  Davidmh Aug 15 at 14:43
    
Ah, Muniz. RIP. –  Paul D. Waite Aug 15 at 15:35
1  
@pauld.waite - He died the classic red shirt death, e.g. to illustrate how serious the situation is... –  Richard Aug 15 at 15:39

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.