Data can speak French, apparently fluently, and surely can speak other ancient languagues equally well. I would imagine that he can also speak Klingon well.

I recall that in Nemesis, Data struggles with the Romulan language. Romulans keep themselves away from the Federation, though, so this isn't surprising. What of the other common species, though? Should Data be reasonably expected to know (and be fluent in) Ferengi, Cardassian, Bajoran, Vulcan, Andorian, and the like?

Also, what about Breen? Could Data learn it and communicate with members of the species?

Does anything in Star Trek speak to this?

  • 3
    Really, he should have a built-in universal translator.
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 22:20
  • 16
    Unless he speaks the binary language of moisture vaporators he's useless to me.
    – user8719
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 22:27
  • 8
    @DarthSatan - I've found no in-universe confirmation that he speaks Bocce either...
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 22:32
  • 3
    @Richard - why sir, it's like a second language to him!
    – user8719
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 23:04
  • 3
    @DarthSatan - But he is fluent in six billion forms of communication. Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 2:40

3 Answers 3


In "Encounter at Farpoint", Data says, "I remember every fact I am exposed to, sir." So it would only take exposure to the complete vocabulary, syntactical and grammatical rules of a language for him to speak it at a near-native level. As long as he has a thorough reference, there is no language he couldn't learn in a trivial amount of time. Despite that, he has difficulty with humor and idiomatic expressions, even in English. For example, in "All Good Things", we hear this exchange:

O'Brien: We'll all be burning the midnight oil on this one.

Data: That would be inadvisable.

O'Brien: Excuse me?

Data: If you attempt to ignite a petroleum product on this ship at zero-hundred hours, you will activate the fire suppression system, which would seal off this entire compartment.

For languages where there is no reference, it depends on the nature of the language. For example, he wasn't much help in the episode, "Darmok". But in the episode "Evolution", he was able to communicate with the nanites in a short amount of time.


It's reasonable to conclude that Data can speak and understand every native language of every UFP member species. The United Federation of Planets consisted of at least one hundred and fifty member planets, spread over eight thousand light years. (Each with a supposed different language.) He would be able to speak to each in their own language. He has total recall and was built with an ultimate storage capacity of eight hundred quadrillion bits and a total linear computational speed rated at sixty trillion operations per second so speaking 150 languages would be no problem.

He's programed to be a Grandmaster chess player and a Master tactical strategist. Every time he endeavors to learn something new he downloads every scrap of data available related to that subject. He has even learned binary and multiple sign languages to augment his communication skills.

  • 1
    He loses at chess to Troi though.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 7:20
  • 1
    @Valorum Apparently Troy is a closet Grandmaster chess player... who knew?
    – Morgan
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 7:29

TNG: 'Loud as a whisper' he learns multiple forms of sign language in minutes, and it has been said that he remembers everything. It stands to reason that whenever he learns a language he never forgets it. Speaking french he may have done because he had a french captain (He may of expected some french phrases from Picard, he wants to be more human after all).

He could potentially know hundred or thousands of languages, there is no way of knowing. All we do know is whenever he needs to learn a language he can do it in minutes and never forgets it. So whenever he needs to learn a language (for whatever reason) he learns it and can fluently speak it

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