In Guardians of the Galaxy, it appears that nearly every being in the universe is capable of speaking English. While I understand that many people prefer English over made-up languages with subtitles, I feel like there should be some explanation (e.g. Babel fish in the Hitchhiker's Guide). Is there reasoning beyond that's-how-the-comics-did-it?

There are only a few instances that I can come up with where beings spoke anything other than English (e.g. Groot, Nebula shouting orders to the Sakaaran soldiers).

  • 2
    To quote director James Gunn: Peter Quill, if you look at his back, he has a translator device in his neck. That's how he understands everybody, how he's speaking alien languages.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 17:54
  • 4
    In the Spanish version, it speaks Spanish, not English ;)
    – AtanuCSE
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


As Oliver_C mentioned, it's the translator chip in Peter Quill's neck. It can be thought that others have it too.

From the following image we can see about the translator chip.


So as we saw the film from Quill's point of view, it allows us to understand everything in English as Quill would have understand everything he hears.

Also the anomaly about some portions where Alien languages(e.g. Groot's) were heard can be explained with this. That translator chip simply doesn't support those languages or sentences etc.

Here is a interesting discussion how Rocket understood Groot. Guardians of the Galaxy - the universal translator which everybody has does not know Groot's language. Rocket's translator does.

Rocket might have changed his translator's technology to understand Groot.

  • it will be interesting to see when the inevitable Guardians/Avengers crossover happens, how humans on Earth interact with the four non-English-speaking Guardians.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 13:47
  • From an audience perspective, there's also the simple matter ofany people don't like to read subtitles. Especially woth an action packed movie like GotG, could you imagine having to read subs the entire time?
    – MattD
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 17:09
  • Guardians will send translator chips to avengers as gifts first ;) @MichaelEdenfield
    – AtanuCSE
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 3:56
  • Yap it would have been awful. I know the feeling after watching few Korean films. It's hard to enjoy complete film while eyes are on subtitles. @MattD
    – AtanuCSE
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 3:58
  • Personally I love subtitles for all films, even English. I've gotten used to it and read subtitles without looking directly at them, still getting to watch what the rest of the screen is showing me.
    – agweber
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 14:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .