Square12 wrote:Here's one for you hardcore whovians: can anyone explain why the TARDIS translation matrix did not translate the barking female alien called Doreen in rings of akhaten, or for that matter why it doesn't translate animal speech?
On a similar note can we assume that Strax and Vastra have both learned English in order to survive in Victorian London? If so from a purely pedantic point of view how exactly could they achieve this with completely different mouth structures including in Vastra's case a very different tongue shape as demonstrated in demons run?
I dunno about Doreen, but she wasn't the only alien to be left untranslated. The Foamasi from The Leisure Hive
couldn't be translated by the TARDIS either, speaking in a series of chirps unless they have a special translation device. I'd say that the TARDIS databank of languages is far from complete (it is an old model), and in the case of Doreen, the Doctor learned the language last time he was there, or at least enough to shop with.
As for Strax and Vastra, the answers are relatively simple by comparison. In the former, Sontarans have been known to use translators before (notably in the first scene with a Sontaran in The Time Warrior
), and even afterwards, Strax has worked with humans before in the future, suggesting that he knows the rudiments of English, or at least enough so that any differences between future and Victorian English are readily learned. In Doctor Who and the Silurians
, a Silurian is heard to speak to a human, Dr Quinn, in English long before the Doctor meets them, suggesting that the Silurians were able to learn English quickly, so Vastra might have picked it up quickly as well. And she has a more human-like mouth compared to the original Silurians...
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.
-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath