In Netflix's new TV series, Altered Carbon, based on Richard K. Morgan's novel of the same name, there are several instances where characters will speak foreign languages and other characters will respond as if they completely understood them, even if they were not the native language of the speaker.
some mostly spoiler free examples:
- Episode 1, Jaeger speaks german to Takeshi and Takeshi responds in Japanese.
- Episode 1, Takeshi seems to understand the Spanish that Kristin says to him in the car
- Episode 1, Samir and Kristin have conversations where Samir injects sentences in Arabic
- Episode 3, Isaac Bancroft holds a conversation in Japanese with Takeshi and some Japanese investors
- Episode 4, Samir and Alazne have a conversation where one speaks Arabic and the other speaks Spanish
While some of these are explainable (Isaac is presumably well educated and might have had business dealings with Japan, Samir learned Spanish after being close to the Ortega family, Takeshi is an Envoy and presumably would know many world languages), the pervasiveness of these examples suggests that there is some sort of technology that lets people understand different languages.
Does a universal language translator exist or are all of these characters just multilingual?