6

Aside from short phrases like "keelah se'lai" and names like "Sur'Kesh," do we ever get samples of fictional languages in the Mass Effect universe? For the most part that franchise uses the normal sci-fi trope of having everyone speak English, but fictional languages are such a staple of sci-fi franchises, from Stark Trek to The Fifth Element, it seems almost strange not to have them in such a grand, sprawling universe as Mass Effect.

Am I forgetting any moments in the games where we hear the native Asari language, or Krogan, etc? And is there an explanation given in the games as to how that works, (e.g. universal translator, "common tongue" represented as English, etc), or do they just not address it?

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One of the codex entries in the Bring Down The Sky DLC makes mention of devices being used to translate languages on-the-fly.

Per the Mass Effect Wiki:

Technology: Translation

(snip)

Most individuals know only their mother tongue, and rely on machine translation. Modern portable computers allow anyone with a few hundred credits of equipment to enjoy seamless real-time translation of alien languages, courtesy of handheld PDAs, computers in clothing or jewelry, or sub-dermal implants. Without fast and accurate translation, galactic trade and culture would not exist.

Governments provide subsidized software, updated through the public extranet "on the fly", often as users approach spaceport customs facilities. Even the batarians, who isolated themselves from galactic society nearly two decades ago, take pains to provide up-to-date glossaries and linguistic rules, though most suspect that this is only so they can continue exporting propaganda.

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