In the question What happened to the Federation Universal Translator Technology?, it's mentioned that the alien Kalara in Star Trek Beyond speaks a language that standard translator technology struggles to translate. However, we later discover that

Kalara is actually Jessica Wolff, a human Starfleet officer who served aboard the USS Franklin. Presumably, therefore, she also speaks at least one language in common use throughout the quadrant.

What language is she speaking when she's first picked up at Yorktown, and where did she learn it?

  • 4
    She was the third Franklin survivor? Wth I never noticed that in the film. I thought her back story was legit, a hostage of Krall's forced to do his work.
    – cde
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


Presumably she learned it from people (or computers) from one of the many starships that Krall had captured. It is not clear if she learned the language because she was taught by a person, studied their computers, or from absorbing those alien life forms.

It served her purpose well to speak a language that was new to the Federation. It reinforced the idea that she was an innocent victim of circumstances -- having no prior relationship with the Federation, she would have to apparent reason to subvert them. (Where is a Betazoid when you need one!)

Thus she was motivated to learn that language, however she did it.

  • 1
    Indeed, if a member of an alien species that had never been seen before showed up speaking perfect English, that would only beget more questions and suspicion, which might threaten her ability to complete her mission. We see Uhura question how Krall knows "our language" in the film, so someone likely would've asked the same of Kalara.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 22:18

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