Geeky Confusion – Universal Translator

Posted: Nov 3, 2011 in Fudgecrumpet, Star Trek, Swedish porn, universal translator

Right, so you know when you think of something and it just stays in your brain for days like some kind of bouncy ball and you need to get it out, no matter how bonkers or stupid it is. Well this is my bouncy brain ball…

The Star Trek The Next Generation Universal Translator

Ok, this is a pretty fancy bit of kit, and I shall attempt to explain how it works based on the years before I had sex when I owned three Star Trek technical manuals.
The Translator is a function of that nifty little communicator badge that everyone seems to wear while on board the Enterprise or on away missions and that. Basically it translates alien languages instantly, and translates anything you say instantly and broadcasts it to make it appear that you are speaking Klingon, or Tribble. Or Welsh.
I have a couple of issues at this early stage. Firstly, lip sync is never an issue on the show, the translator is basically dubbing over one’s voice, shouldn’t there be the same kind of random lip movement akin to a Swedish porno?
Secondly, where does the original untranslated voice go? Is there some kind of noise reduction thing going on? How can you concentrate on what you’re saying if all you can hear is a foreign language seemingly coming out of your lips?
Which brings me to my third point, does the translated voice come out of the communicator or is there some kind of ventriloquism thing going on, making it appear as though the voice is coming out of your mouth?

I think I might be thinking too much into a fictional concept. But this is kinda like therapy for me so I’m gonna carry on…

Ok, how does the translator get the translated words into your ears without everyone else hearing? Or some kind of big feedback squeal? There are no earphones in the star trek universe beyond Uhura’s silly phone headset, so is this another trick of the mysterious ventriloquism circuit?
Right, I continue… Jean Luc Picard is French. Does he speak French all the time and let the translator make him sound all shakespearian-actor-from-Mirfield? Which brings into question as to where his French accent has gone? Has it been translated out? Does his voice even sound like that at all? Maybe he speaks like a little French chipmunk.

On the Enterprise, there’s not just grown ups, for some bloody stupid reason, other than to make the show more TV friendly, families are brought along for the ride. Including babies. Now, do these babies actually learn how to talk or does the translator just go and translate their baby gobbledegook? If we carry this on, we can only assume that (further) in the future that nobody will be speaking the same language and the translator will be working overtime translating everyone’s personal nonsense language and making them sound clever. Actually, that does go some way to explaining some of the techno-babble on Voyager.

Anyway. I think that’s my brain vented. I hope that was enjoyable enough for you. Or at least you now have some insight into my troubled mind. And pity me.

Live long and plimpy pob. (the translator will make that make sense, I’m sure)

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