14

A note for future readers of this question: this is based on an incorrect memory of the Voyager episode 'Dark Frontier'.

The term 'Sector 001' indicates that it is a point of origin. Unless I'm mistaken, I'm pretty sure the Borg didn't originate in Earth, but rather the Delta quadrant. So my question is this: why would the Borg refer to Earth as being 'Sector 001'? Was it for communication purposes with the Federation (who from memory designated Earth as Sector 001), although I do seem to recall the Borg on several occasions (especially Voyager and First Contact) referring to Earth as Sector 001 whilst not communicating with any Federation persons.

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    A note for future readers of this question: this is based on an incorrect memory of the Voyager episode 'Dark Frontier'. – Often Right May 25 '15 at 0:25
18

On both occasions that the Borg refer to Earth as being at "Sector Zero Zero One", it's when they're communicating with a Federation vessel. It makes sense that they'd use the Federation's own navigation system to avoid any possible confusion as to where they intend to go:

RIKER: Then trust me now. Meet to discuss terms.

PICARD [on viewscreen]: Discussion is irrelevant. There are no terms. You will disarm all your weapons and escort us to Sector zero zero one where we will begin assimilating your culture and technology. - Best of Both World, Part II

and

LOCUTUS [on viewscreen]: Resistance is futile. You will disarm your weapons and escort us to sector zero zero one. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you.

CAPTAIN: (a Vulcan) Red alert. Load all torpedo bays. Ready phasers. Move us to position alpha, Ensign. DS9: Emissary

Seven also refers to it thusly in her personal log, but only after she's been on board for quite a while:

If we do return to Sector zero zero one, will I adapt to human civilisation? A single Borg among billions of individuals? - Voyager: Hope and Fear

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    I'll try to find examples, but I'm pretty sure that the Borg refer to Earth as 'Sector Zero Zero One' in other settings where they're not communicating with Federation persons. One episode of Voyager strikes me as fitting this description... – Often Right May 25 '15 at 0:14
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    I think 001 is the Federation designation for the Sol system. It makes sense since the Borg do not refer to Sector 001 until after Picard is assimilated. It also makes sense that Earth and Sol are at Sector 001 because of the Federation headquarters/birthplace on Earth - it's the 'start point' of the Federation. I don't think there's any other such references anywhere, though... – Thomas Ward May 25 '15 at 0:17
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    Woops, my mistake: chakoteya.net/Voyager/517.htm. I recall it being in the teaser, but the script says it isn't there! – Often Right May 25 '15 at 0:24
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    @Richard cheers for letting me know about sitecomber.com - will definitely use it in the future! – Often Right May 25 '15 at 0:30
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    @N.Soong - It's good for Doctor Who and Andromeda too :-) – Valorum May 25 '15 at 0:30
7

I think it's two reasons, which are related. First, I think the Universal translators on both ends of the communication, in addition to converting between languages, also convert between coordinate systems and units of measurement. This conversion has existed in our computers since the 70s, so it's not a big leap. Imagine the following scene: Kobali Vessel: "We're 5 megaviotes from the meeting point." Janeway on Voyager: "What?" Kobali comm person ""does some math", we're half a light year away." Janeway on Voyager: "oh. okay. see you in an hour." That would get old very quickly for everyone. Based on this ludicrous exchange, I think all UT capable species in the Star Trek galaxy have auto-conversion of measurement and coordinates in their translators, just to avoid this matter. Why would the Borg be any different?

Other reason: we often hear people speaking English in scenes where it makes no sense, such as on Klingon vessels "I'm looking at you DS9". My theory is that we're not hearing the language that's used in-universe. We're hearing what is effectively dubbed dialog. It's easier than having the entire cast do the scene in Klingon, then subtitling it. Since the writers convert the language for the viewer's convenience, why would they not convert between units of location and measurement, for the previously stated reasons?

In summary, the conversion happens because in-universe it makes sense, and it makes sense to the viewer.

  • I agree. Similarly, Worf doesn't actually look like Michael Dorn from our time. It's all a representation being filtered through a camera. – Lightness Races in Orbit May 25 '15 at 16:10
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    I disagree. Since the Borg clearly know English by the time they refer to the sol system as sector 001, there's no reason whatsoever to assume the universal translator is operating when they communicate. – Valorum May 25 '15 at 16:20
  • True, but the answer is the same. It's for convenience. The Borg, like everyone else, would find it very inefficient having to re-explain locations in different formats. So they simply convert from their native coordinate format to the format used by the federation. I'm just saying the feature might be auto-included in the UT. – Nate Watson May 26 '15 at 16:26
  • @Richard Since the Borg knows English bz that time, we can safely assume, it knows that the solar system of Sol is called "Sector 0-0-1" in English. It is most likely aware of other names but the Borg is known to be obsessed with numbers, so... What I mean is they might use this term to ease the communication with the other party. – mg30rg May 29 '15 at 14:34
-3

What i find most strange is that the borg speak english.

Thus if that is explained by the universal translator similarly sector 001 is caused by the universal translator, maybe the borg in their own language call it sector bladiblablablabloe and the universal translator translates it into sector 001.

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    This adds nothing to Nate's answer from eight months ago. – Peregrine Rook Jan 24 '16 at 4:25
-5

The Borg must be connected either to V'ger or the aliens who helped the Voyager probe to become V'ger... because V'ger is possibly the only thing out there that would ever refer to sol as sector 001 since it is its point of origin...in a game, Star Trek Legacy I think, it was implied that there is a connection between V’ger and the Borg’s origins.

Since V'ger has traveled a long way it had lots of star maps...with sol always as the point of origin thus sector 001. So either V'ger was involved in the ascedance of the borg into what we see today or it could have been assimilated... I’m a fan of the theory that theres some connection there.

A possible temporal situation might be also a reason.

Officially I havent heard anything about it from any credible source so I guess your imagination's the limit.

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