Kxmode wrote on Mar 8, 2021, 21:37:
Has anyone noticed in Star Trek episodes where there are no humans, the language spoken is still English? I thought about that after watching the DS9 episode "The House of Quark."
Yeah, it is one of the big things they paper over. In ST:DS9 when the Cardassians are introduced to the Breen as their new Dominion allies, Damar can't understand the Breen. He complains to Weyoun and then says (paraphrased), "If I had known we were meeting with the Breen I would have had my universal translator updated". This is one of a couple of nods I have noticed over all the Star Trek series which is apparently meant to make us think universal translators are ubiquitous... but it doesn't explain why with no human present that we, the audience, would hear English. And even if it was supposed to, why can't we understand the Breen?
That said, there have also been indications the UT isn't perfect. In another ST:DS9 episode Julian is working with the other genetically enhanced humans and they are analyzing a recording of Weyoun and switch the recording to native language mode. And in doing so learn something they could not determine from the UT's translation.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan