Stargate SG-1 is one nostalgia trip for me. I remember watching it as a kid and what struck me as being weird was that every planet they ever visited, always had the same landscape as the last. I get it, locations are a pain in the ass and you can shave a lot of money off your budget if you reuse the same location for a few episodes. I could forgive that, but what I can’t forgive is how alien races across the galaxy can all understand English?
Let me put it to you this way, the customer care line for my Internet provider recently moved from an English speaking country to the Philippines and neither of us on the line can understand what the other person is saying. That conversation with between two people from the same planet, with the person on the other end having some minor ability to understand English. Even at that, we couldn’t understand each other over a simple pricing problem, imagine having to use communicate about diplomacy in an intergalactic war.
While Star Trek, Farscape and a lot other shows explain jumping the language barriers with universal translators, Stargate never addressed the issue. I can understand why though, imagine having to make a new language or dialect for every single race of aliens you come across. The writers would lose their shit. Stargate didn’t have the same resources as Game of Thrones or Tolkien works adapted to film. Linguistic courses in University sometimes use Tolkien languages like Khuzdul (Dwarvish) and Elvish to explain how languages change over time.
But still, why can’t it be shown that they came across technology that allowed them to universally translate and speak alien languages. That kind of technology is already being developed today and prototypes of universal translators, although still as awful as Google translate, show promise at least. It is easier to assume everyone in the Stargate Universe has a copy of Rosetta Stone than it is to explain why they can all speak English very well, and all have mostly British or American accents.
Seriously though, why not just put some 5-minute clip in an episode early on in the show to explain ‘If you do come into contact with alien life, use these, they are universal translators, and these, they are condoms’.
How can you eat food without a tongue? This is a question that bugged me for a long-time. I asked myself this question when I was a kid when I saw a pirate movie with a pirate who was missing his tongue laughing and eating. If you’ve ever had dental work (unless you are British) and know how difficult it can be to swallow without the use of your tongue, you might know what I am talking about.
From what I have searched online, there isn’t a whole lot out there for people who have had their tongues removed. It isn’t really something that happens all that much and even in parts of the world where there would be the facilities to take care of someone who has had their tongue removed, there are just too few people who’ve lost their tongues.
There are people who teach kids how to eat and swallow food. For whatever reason you can imagine, probably health reasons, some kids can’t eat food. When they are healthy and older they are taken off a tube that feeds their stomach and they have to learn how to eat food. Can you imagine that? Learning not only how to approach food but having the sensations of taste and finding out what you like. I would freak the fuck out.
The therapy associated with people missing tongues depends on how much of the tongue is left. If the tongue as been completely removed and you have an amputees version of a stump in your mouth, you will have a harder time adjusting. You reading this on your phone or computer, try to swallow your own saliva without the use of your tongue. Go on, try it. It’s pretty fucking right? Imagine trying to swallow food.
If you pay attention to when you are eating food, you will realize that before you swallow food, your tongue does this wavy kind of thing. This signals to your throat that you are swallowing food. Without that signal and action, your body will have to learn how to react again. If you have ever broken a bone, you might understand what I mean. When I was 14, I shattered my knee and when the cast came off, I was learning how to walk for 4 months. I had forgotten how to walk and my injury also didn’t help.
People without tongues can still speak, but they are kind of like a ventriloquist. Eating must be really tough and not having a tongue means that they can’t taste that much anyway. A while ago on Motherboard, there was an mini-documentary on a guy who drank nothing but a nutrient smoothie for 30 days. The issues he faced was that eating is a social activity and the sensation of taste can induce a feeling of satisfaction. It is proven that eating meat makes humans feel happy. I can’t imagine never having the sensation of taste. I think that is worse than being def or blind.