31

We've seen more than a few MCU characters visit Earth (or people from Earth talking with MCU characters off-Earth), but no one has (to my memory) had language issues.

When Thor first visits Earth, he has no problems in communication (culture shock, yes, but not communication). Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel makes a passing mention of a "Universal Translator", but I feel that this is humour rather than fact-based since I don't recall any other character make mention of this.

I don't believe that Tony Stark has invented a translation device because he may have mentioned it a few times.

Is the language issue explained, or is it simply ignored?

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    Simple google search: quora.com/Why-does-everyone-in-the-MCU-speak-English – Gustavo Gabriel Mar 12 at 14:53
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    Because if they had to address the language issue with every single movie then you would have over a dozen movies which spend more than half their time addressing an issue which is not essential to the plot. You would have a dozen Arrival (2016) movies – MonkeyZeus Mar 12 at 20:35
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    I don't think Carol Danvers's mention of a translator was meant to be a joke, even if it was during a humorous scene. Also, humans probably don't need a translator if aliens already have them. – Kodos Johnson Mar 12 at 21:57
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    What part of "I am Groot" do you not understand? – Kenneth K. Mar 13 at 16:08
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    If you pay close attention, they also never seem to use the bathroom. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Mar 13 at 19:30
56

It is mostly hand-waving, but they actually do make references to universal translators. For example, Peter Quill is noted to have a universal translator implanted in his neck.

An image from GoTG that shows enhancements of Peter Quill

They seem to be common. They would almost be a necessity in a society where people can fly from one planet to another with such ease.

For Asgardians, they probably use something similar as "magic and technology are one and the same" to them.

EDIT

As Rarst pointed out in the comments, in the comics Asgardians have something called All-Tongue or All-Speak. This language gets translated to the native language of whoever hears it. This could be just another name for the "universal translator".

As far as I know, they don't mention All-Tongue in the movies, but they presumably have it.

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    Asgardian thing is supposedly AllSpeak, which is everyone understands them as if native language, see scifi.stackexchange.com/a/64131/41308 – Rarst Mar 12 at 18:22
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    An explicit reference to a universal translator used by the Kree is made in Captain Marvel. This could easily be a common tech. – NetworkLlama Mar 12 at 20:04
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    All-Speak would not lip sync though. – Almo Mar 12 at 20:40
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    @Almo Presumably any real universal translator would have to work on some psychic level. You can handwave that as also editing mouth actions to match. – Azor Ahai Mar 12 at 21:47
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    Actually most of the characters can't understand Groot for example. – NewJavaEnthusiast Mar 13 at 6:57
15

In addition to DeeVs answer, it's mentioned in Infinity War that Thor took an elective at school to learn Groot so I would assume that it is taught at Asgardian schools since Groot is quite an obscure language as laid out by the films.

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    According to the director that was Thor making a joke. As per my comment on the other answer supposedly asgardians don't need to learn languages. – Rarst Mar 12 at 19:22
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    This is similar to how language is handled in Star Wars - it's mostly handwaved away, but there are occasional language barriers - for example, Han, Rey, and possibly Yoda understand Chewbacca's language, most others don't. – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Mar 13 at 12:16
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    @RobertColumbia I can answer for SW! There is a fairly universal language spoken by most of the population of the galaxy - "Basic". That's what they are speaking when we hear English (or whatever language the movie is dubbed into). There are species and cultures who can't/won't speak basic, and those require a translator - enter protocol droids. – Baldrickk Mar 13 at 15:38
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    @RobertColumbia Obi-wan understood Chewie too (it's how he found the pilot to get them off Tatooine). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 14 at 14:34

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