In the entire Transformer franchise, no matter what series, they always speak English and are humanoid, why?

Note: I have only seen the G1 series and some Transformers Prime. I saw a couple snippets from the live action films. And a snippet of Robots in Disguise


3 Answers 3


The out-of-universe reason:

Because it's a franchise primarily targeted at a younger audience who won't want to read subtitles. They need to speak English so viewers can easily understand them.

The in-universe reasons:

  • In the G1 cartoon, this is largely glossed over. While we see/hear the Transformers speaking "English" on Cybertron, it's a fair assumption that their language is simply being translated for the viewer (see above), particularly since in-universe, humans do not exist yet, much less the English language.

    However, when Teletraan-1 repairs the Transformers, it sends its probe out to research the area and find new alt-modes. My assumption was always that it also retrieved information about the local language to provide to the repaired bots.

  • In the Prime/Aligned continuity, we never learn exactly how/when the Transformers arrived on Earth, but we are led to believe that they have been around for quite some time, living amongst the humans. They would have learned the language over time, if not immediately.

  • In the live-action continuity, Optimus specifically mentions that the Autobots learned English from the world-wide-web. The Decepticons abilities are not explicitly explained, but they appear to have been hiding on Earth already. It is not, however, explained how Megatron learned to speak English.

  • I totally missed your last paragraph here when I read it before writing my own answer. Your answer was/is still better.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 5:48

Whatever anyone's opinion on the live-action movie franchise, there's a scene in the first movie that provides insight:

Optimus Prime: My name is Optimus Prime. We are autonomous robotic organisms from the planet Cybertron.
Ratchet: But you can call us Autobots for short.
Sam: Autobots.
Jazz: What's crackin', little bitches?
Optimus Prime: My first lieutenant.
Jazz: Hyah!
Optimus Prime: Designation Jazz.
Jazz: This looks like a cool place to kick it.
Sam: What is that? How did he learn to talk like that?
Optimus Prime: We've learned Earth's languages through the World Wide Web. My weapons specialist, Ironhide.

The point is that the Transformers could quickly pick up a new language using available resources. Obviously, earlier in the franchise the World Wide Web or Internet wouldn't have been an option, but there would have been radio signal broadcasts that they could have intercepted.

Different iterations of the franchise will have different specific explanations (or none at all), based on the time period the Transformers came to planet.

  • 1
    I have not seen the films. So I would not really know. But thanks.
    – Skyclone
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 22:02

They can speak any language they want. We already know they have their own language but from a viewers standpoint why would we want to read subtitles all the time?

As for the humanoid thing, most alien life forms would be humanoid as having at least 2 legs and 2 two arms is very efficient. You could technically have more than 2 of each but any less and you become less efficient as an intelligent being capable of quick movement and the ability to manipulate objects with hands and arms.

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