The most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery featured a scene in which a computer virus had invaded the ship’s universal-translator program, effectively shutting it down, and it turned out that the entire crew had been speaking their own native languages all along, blithely relying on the computer to make them intelligible to each other.
Speaking of learning foreign languages, I continue to be impressed by Mae Jemison. Not only an accomplished dancer, choreographer, medical doctor, college professor, and astronaut, she also mastered 3 foreign languages. And this wasn’t cherry picking, like learning Spanish and then picking up Portuguese, French, and Italian. Nope. Her 3 add-ons were Russian, Japanese, and Swahili — languages that have absolutely nothing in common with each other.
May 22, 2015