The Stargate franchise has many different characters from all over the galaxy, in fact, many of them aren’t from this galaxy at all. Alien races from across the cosmos are no strangers to Stargate Command, but one thing that always got me thinking was “Why do all of these aliens speak perfect English?”
Unlike Star Trek with its universal translator or Doctor Who’s TARDIS that gets inside your head and can translate any language both spoken and written, there was never a clear explanation as to why seemingly the entire galaxy’s preferred language was English.
The obvious answer to this question is that it was just easier for us as an audience and for the writers to make everyone speak one language. But I’d like to explore the times when English wasn’t the native language of an alien race.
English Speaking Aliens!?
The most notable alien race that we know for a fact has their own language yet chooses to speak English is the Goa’uld, Chappa’ai literally translates to Stargate in Goa’uld, and the word Goa’uld itself translates to “God”. Yet despite having their own language they seemingly choose to speak English.
There are of course times where we see the Goa’uld speaking their own language but a popular theory amongst Stargate Fans is that English is just the most logical language to use and it being the most widely spoken language on Earth is no accident. Natural language evolution will always lead to English or something close to it.
The Stargate Wiki says
The producers make almost all newly encountered people on alien planets speak English for the sake of convenient storytelling, though their writing is invariably alien. The characters on the shows seem to be generally unaware of the “miracle English” phenomenon, although it was subtly parodied in the episode “Wormhole X-Treme!” of Stargate SG-1. Stargate Universe generally attempted to avoid the phenomenon except in cases where it’s in keeping with canon (namely the Lucian Alliance), instead creating aliens with their own language or alternate means of communication.
Does it really matter?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter that we never got an in-universe explanation as to why the entire Universe is fluent in English. But it was always something that I wondered.
But that’s just how I feel about it … what do YOU think?
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below, or join us on Discord to continue the conversation.