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Crewman Becky's Thoughts On The Universal Translator

Crewman Becky's Thoughts On The Universal Translator

Hi corporeal beings! Crewman Becky here. Have you ever noticed how the universal translator seems to know (on its own) when the speaker wants the listener(s) to hear what they are saying in the speaker’s original language? I’ve been using this thing my whole life and then the other day it dawns on me, “hey wait a minute, why isn’t Qapla’ translated into English for me?” I mean really, it’s totally a translatable word, but for some reason I still hear it as Qapla’.

Well, after some intense observation, I’m here to tell you that the answer is actually rather simple…air quotes. Air quotes, you ask? Ya, you know; the two handed, two fingered pull down done when someone wants to indicate a double meaning, or sarcasm. Well, the universal translator interprets this gesture as actual quotations and keeps the audio in the speaker’s original language. Pretty ingenious actually. Now, I know you’re saying, “No way, I’ve never witnessed this for myself.”  Not so! Everyone has just gotten so good at doing this action subtly that it’s hard to detect with the naked eye.

Worf Using The Air Quotes

Seriously, can you imagine the flak a Klingon would take from his buddies if he did full on air quotes? So, of course, he (and everyone else) would try to hide it. Sometimes it’s pockets, sometimes it’s hands behind the back, but more often than not the speaker just tries to keep your eyes focused on their face so you won’t notice the tiny air quotes motion, calmly at their sides. Wow, this realization is totally blowing my mind.  I have no idea how I missed that social nuance this long, but maybe it’s partially responsible for my 15 year career as a “Crewman”. Hmmmm, I’m going to have to do some thinking about this one.

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