30

I just finished watching the episode "Deadlock". Toward the end, Vidiians board the ship to steal organs. Oddly, they know the name used for every species on the ship.

That they know what an Ocampa is a bit surprising since most of them live underground for generations, but it's still believable. After all, they do share the same quadrant. That they know what humans are is odder, but still believable. The Voyager crew might have used that term to introduce themselves in the past. However, how do they know what a Vulcan is?

When they scan Tuvok, they say he's a Vulcan, but how do they know that word? Has Tuvok ever used the Vulcan word infront of a Vidiian or is that just the writers messing up?

27

In addition to mbq's answer, you should realize that the universal translator—which provides to the audience a way to understand alien languages—learns by context: the word Vulcan is heard because that's the only thing the Vidiian word for Tuvok's race could mean.

  • 4
    Why would they even have a word for it, though? – Lightness Races with Monica Jun 29 '14 at 21:10
  • 4
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit It may not have originally been a word. They could have said "Species #7586" in Vidiianese and the translator understood from the context they meant 'Vulcan'. – Crow T Robot Oct 12 '14 at 0:28
16

This was not their first contact with Voyager; they have scanned senior officers (including Tuvok) in Phage, so (assuming some subspace medical database sync) the knowledge about new species could propagate to all Vidiians (or at least their scanners).

  • 4
    BTW the more stupid thing is that they called the Vidiian pathogen "phage" -- phages by definition attack only Procaryota, so this implies Vidiians are huge bacteria. – user48 Feb 22 '11 at 0:42
  • 6
    actually phage is usually used in the meaning of "bacteriophage", phage by itself has no specific meaning, other than its greek root (to eat). – SWeko Feb 25 '11 at 14:19
  • @SWeko This abbreviation is so commonly used that it is nearly as valid as the whole word. – user48 Feb 25 '11 at 19:09
  • 2
    @mbq: I would downvote the comment if a could. Words evolve and names of things arise by analogy and in other illogical ways. If you asked someone from the 70s what a cell is, how many guesses would they have to make before they guessed it's colloquial for mobile telephone? – ThePopMachine May 5 '16 at 15:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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