5

In the Transformers: Prime/aligned continuity, like the live-action movie continuity, Bumblebee's voice box was crushed by Megatron. Because Ratchet was unable to repair it, Bumblebee speaks in beeps and whistles that the other Transformers can understand, but humans cannot - except for Raf.

Early in the show, there were rumors/theories that Raf was some sort of techno-organic humanoid similar to Sari of TF: Animated, as no concrete information about his parents had been divulged. This theory was effectively debunked later in the series.

There are a few points in the show that Raf comments that he doesn't understand why he's able to understand Bumblebee, just that he can.

Has this ability been explained in any of the other materials (comics, books, commentary, etc)?

4

It's never explained and even the creators of the series seem to be deliberately avoiding any discussion on the point. There are a variety of completely speculative ideas floating around on the internet but there's not yet been an in-universe explanation.

We inherited Bumblebee’s speech handicap from the Transformers films: that’s the Bumblebee that the new generation of fans knows. That said, our backstory for how he lost his voice stems from ‘Exodus’ continuity, though it will be a while before we see that in the series.....But, with Raf and Bumblebee, there’s an instant mutual rapport.

According to some of the notes in his diary ("it's not a diary!") it seems that even Raf himself doesn't know why;

"Bumblebee's my buddy. Mostly cuz I'm the only kid who understands him. Not sure why ... he makes perfect sense. He just doesn’t use words. Might be the same reason I could understand digital code, even when I was three years old. Anyway, most people talk too much. Best thing? Bee's an awesome muscle car, and he’s my friend."

1

The closest conclusion I could come up with is that Bumblebee speaks in a binary-like/ morse code fashion where words are replaced with beeps and whirs in a pattern in which spells each sentence. Raf, as a computer genius, supposedly understands Bumblebee because he also understands the morse code which many humans have long forgotten over telephones and computer technology.

0

This is speculation on my part, but it boils down to evolution. By that, I mean, Earth has been shown to be Unicron. After the 13 Primes of Primus defeated Unicron, Unicron's body drifted into our Solar System, and the Earth formed around Unicron.

Based on this, all life on earth comes from Unicron. As does technology. This is why humans and transformers are so similar. Why human technology is compatible with Transformer technology.

Essentially, Humans and Transformers are distant cousins, and Raf is able to understand Bumblebee for the same reason Silas was able to control a clone body.

  • 2
    Do you mean Silas? I don't remember Transformers Prime and Heroes ever crossing over. – phantom42 Jun 11 '14 at 1:45
  • Yeah I've had that same idea as well for a while. That's how I explain the similarity between humans and Cybertronians in my head canon. – System Down Jun 11 '14 at 17:39

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