Leaving aside the question of what languages people are actually speaking, are there any humans who are confirmed (in a show or in novels) to have a first language was not English or Federation Standard, or who were raised bilingual (English/Standard and their own country's language)?

I'm most interested in characters living post-establishment of the universal translator, but answers about characters from Enterprise are acceptable as well.

1 Answer 1

  • Pavel Chekov speaks fluent Russian. He periodically lapses into it when excited, as he did in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock.

KIRK: I'm on my way. Sulu, continue docking procedure.

SULU (OC): Aye sir.

CHEKOV : "Ya ne sumasshedshi! (Я не сумасшедший!)" ("I'm not crazy!")

  • Uhura's first language is apparently Swahili. When her memory is erased in TOS : The Changeling, she uses it while re-learning English.

UHURA: The dog has a, The dog, sikumbuka

CHAPEL: Not Swahili, Uhura. In English. The dog has a ball. See? B, ah, ll. Ball. Now you go ahead.

UHURA: The dog has a ball.

These are both backed up in TOS: The Spectre of the Gun where each person on the bridge hears a warning in their first language.

KIRK: English.

CHEKOV: It was Russian, sir. Every word.

UHURA: No, Captain. It was Swahili.

KIRK: Interesting. Telepathy.

  • Hoshi Sato appears to be bilingual in Japanese, although it's not certain whether she was raised bilingual or learned it at a later date

T'POL: Captain? May I speak with you?

HOSHI: (as Archer takes the pot of oden off the stove and starts to help himself) That is a very complex recipe. I will not serve it till it's just right. My family's reputation is at stake.

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  • Captain Picard also speaks fluent French. Given that he was brought up in France, it seems likely that he was raised bilingual:

PICARD: Incroyable! Vous etes Parisienne?

Riker is surprised that she speaks French and a little jealous that she and Picard are hitting it off so well.

MINUET : Au fonde c'est vrai, nous sommes tous Parisienne.

PICARD : Oui, au fonde nous sommes tous Parisienne.

  • Ensign Muniz (DS9 : The Ship) reverts to speaking Spanish when he suffers a serious injury.

INTERIOR - ANOTHER ANGLE as Muniz starts MUTTERING pieces of Spanish... "Lindo"... "que bonita"... "noche"... O'Brien can do nothing but keep Muniz from rocking too violently.

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    Is it ever made clear what language the Rozhenko's speak? Their names imply Russian nationality, could it be possible then that Worf's first (human) language was Russian?
    – Monty129
    Aug 15, 2014 at 12:34
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    @Monty129 - I thought about them but I couldn't find any evidence that they speak Russian other than their use of the odd Russian word and cod-Russian accents
    – Valorum
    Aug 15, 2014 at 12:48
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    Ah, Muniz. RIP. Aug 15, 2014 at 15:35
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    @pauld.waite - He died the classic red shirt death, e.g. to illustrate how serious the situation is...
    – Valorum
    Aug 15, 2014 at 15:39
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    @Monty129 - keep in mind that Worf was six when he was adopted and brought to Earth. His first language would undoubtedly be Klingon by that point.
    – Omegacron
    Mar 24, 2015 at 21:45

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