If, after it was calibrated and tuned, the stargate had a device in it that would facilitate spoken communication between different peoples and cultures, if someone went from Earth to Planet A, then from Planet A to the Russian stargate, would that person then be able to communicate with a Russian even though neither spoke the other's native language? (Russians obviously had their own program, yet were able to communicate with offworlders in the same way the Americans did.) And could one travel from the American stargate directly to the Russian stargate?

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    What makes you think that the Stargate had a "device in it that would facilitate spoken communication between different peoples and cultures"? No such device exists within the show. The reason why everyone speaks English is because...erm...it would be boring if SG1 had to learn the local language every show.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 21:51
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    There would have to be a reason people from different worlds and cultures could communicate, even in a different galaxy. We know that written language knowledge was not conveyed, but it would be foolish to say that everyone on all these planets would speak 20th century English. So there would need to be a logical reason people (even Russians) could speak with other-worlders other than the shows' writers decreed English would be the official cosmic language! There would have to be something in the dialing device (a colored crystal?) that would do it. Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 22:04
  • I see what you're driving at, but you're going about it in quite an odd way. If your question is "why does everyone in the Milky Way speak English?", then that would be quite a good question, albeit a dupe of this one
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 22:09
  • You may wish to note that Joseph Malozzi, jokingly talked about "Translator microbes" (a clear nod to Farscape) in order to hand-wave the fact that everyone speaks English :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 22:13
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    Well, one has to consider Occam's Razor. "In explaining a thing, no more assumptions should be made than are necessary." (Oxford) In this case, it's clear an explanation is necessary. The one that God (the writers, in this case) decreed English the universal language, stresses the principle of parsimony too far. But no one has offered any other explanation. If the initial link to Abydos lacked many components found in the dialers created by the Ancients, it explains no language link. But it's equally illogical that the Ancients would create a vast network with no thought to communication. Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


The Stargate isn't like the Tardis; it doesn't translate. That's why in the Stargate movie, when they first go to Abydos, Jackson has to learn the language and translate for his team. The Russian teams would have a linguist on their team. If a team left Earth using the US Stargate, then returned using the Russian Stargate, they would have to speak Russian to be able to communicate.

  • Very true. The gate is just for traveling through space (and sometimes time) but never for translation.
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 10:34
  • If the stargate didn't facilitate communication some way (and assuming that it translates isn't logical), then what did? The stargate must have a communication conditioner built into it. This could allow each culture to have its own language, yet communicate. But it would not be sophisticated enough to facilitate written communication. Thus in the great race episode, the aliens explain they had translated their ship's specifications for Carter, for her convenience. In the movie, the humans had no conditioning crystal. Logic dictates there must be something in the dialer that would do it. Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 22:14
  • BTW, this is sci-fi...JUST a TV series -- but we're expected to think these things through. For those of us who cannot suspend disbelief enough to think the entire universe speaks English, it is left to our imaginations. So, IF a stargate can scramble molecules and put them back together (blue crystal), why can't the yellow condition language? And IF the stargate can do this, would it, in your mind, facilitate communications with those living on the same planet? (Remember, the show is translated into other Earth languages on DVD). So did the Russians have to learn English for their travels? Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 22:39
  • @JohnRoberts you have some very interesting theories. However, without any canon in-universe sources backing them up, they are just that - theories. It would make sense that the Russians would need to already speak English when travelling through the gate, just like how on Earth in real life, many pilots have to learn English.
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 1:34

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