Is it possible that while John was living on the Acquaran Planet, he actually didn't have full use of the Translator Microbes (or that they were speaking a bastardized version of Rigel's native language?). I ask because I would imagine that the Translator Microbes are technology (bio-electric or otherwise), and the Acquaran Planet was the Planet on which the Tech Dampening Field was set up by one of the previous Hynerian Rulers. Cledwin83 07:08, December 26, 2010 (UTC)
-There have to be some ground rules for how translator microbes (TM) work because there is so much speculation floating around. What I've been able to peace together so far (though part is speculation):
1) TMs are organic, they can function inside dampening fields (as on Aquara), which was to be expected since they are called "microbes" after all.
2) Only the listener needs TMs and TMs can translate even languages they've never heard before (they translated English to the aliens), this is something that probably isn't physically possible (at least not as fast as depicted on the show), but has to be taken for granted to make the show work.
3) The Aquarans had TMs from the time when they were space travellers. We know that in at least some species TMs are not carried over from mother to child during a pregnancy (Rygel wonders why John wasn't injected at birth with TMs in "Premiere"), however it is possible they are transmitted through sexual intercourse and blood. The Aquarans could pass the TMs on through sex, ritual bloodletting or ritual touching of ancient junk left from their starships.
4) The beings in "I E.T." either had no TMs and the writers screwed up because it was such an early episode, or they too had TMs left brought to the planet by aliens long ago, causing the TMs to spread throughout the general population up tot the point that they were so used of understanding everyone around them that it never occured to them that it was pretty weird they could instantly understand the alien Crichton.
5) The Scarran tongue only Scarrans, Kalish and Scorpius understand is a code-language, perhaps specifically developed to be impossible to translate by TMs. This makes sense because it would make espionage against the Scarrans a lot more difficult.
6) Since people carrying TMs can still learn each others languages (Aeryn learned to speak English) it is probable that the listener still hears the words as they are being pronounced, but instincively knows what they mean, as if the listener learned the language. This could mean that the listener could also speak the alien language once he/she learns the proper pronounciation(*) (perhaps that's what Crichton was teaching Aeryn, rather than teaching her the language itself). It would also mean people carrying TMs can read each other's lips, which is indeed evidenced in "Through The Looking Glass".
7) Point 6 brings to question how Sebaceans don't notice Crichton is not Sebacean. It's possible Sebaceans don't all speak the same language, so they're not surprised by Crichton's strange language. Alternatively Crichton may have learned how to pronounce Sebacean, with some flaws at first as evidenced in "A Bug's Life" where he takes on an Australian accent (which might also just be a joke by the writers to make fun of the overtly Australian accents of some of the actors, some of the guest stars especially sounded like Steve Irwin), we know he learned to read and write Sebacean (so he could find the bathroom aboard a Command Carrier) and that Aeryn learned English, so it is possible.184.108.40.206 22:24, January 6, 2011 (UTC)
- (*)I myself am not a native English speaker and even though I can read, write and understand English perfectly well, pronouncing English words correctly is not always easy.