History Main / CompletelyUnnecessaryTranslator

11th Nov '17 6:09:35 PM sablesword
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* In ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', when Mancuso, Jonesy, and Ryan have finally managed to get on the titular submarine, the Americans and the Soviets just look at each other. [[TheCaptain Ramius]] notices Mancuso's prominently displayed sidearm and mentions it to his NumberTwo in Russian (fearing Mancuso is the "Buckaroo" type he'd been worried about), causing Ryan to chuckle, as he knew Russian. Ramius questions him for a bit in Russian, then switches to fluent English. At least one other Soviet officer speaks English.



* In ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', when Mancuso, Jonesy, and Ryan have finally managed to get on the titular submarine, the Americans and the Soviets just look at each other. [[TheCaptain Ramius]] notices Mancuso's prominently displayed sidearm and mentions it to his NumberTwo in Russian (fearing Mancuso is the "Buckaroo" type he'd been worried about), causing Ryan to chuckle, as he knew Russian. Ramius questions him for a bit in Russian, then switches to fluent English. At least one other Soviet officer speaks English.
17th Sep '17 11:45:14 PM AspiringTroper
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* ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'': One of the foreign leaders does this to Fudge at the World Cup, with the added benefit of not actually having a translator. His only reason is that watching Fudge mime everything "vos very funny."

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* ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'': One The Bulgarian Minister of the foreign leaders Magic does this to Fudge at the World Cup, with the added benefit of not actually having a translator. His only reason is that watching Fudge mime everything "vos very funny."
16th Jun '17 8:31:28 PM Jeduthun
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Common with characters who MajoredInWesternHypocrisy. [[SubvertedTrope Subverts]] TactfulTranslation, as it turns out at least one person in the conversation [[BilingualBackfire knew exactly what the other really said]] the entire time. See also ElectiveUnintelligible.

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Common with characters who MajoredInWesternHypocrisy. [[SubvertedTrope Subverts]] TactfulTranslation, as it turns out at least one person in the conversation [[BilingualBackfire knew exactly what the other really said]] the entire time. See also ElectiveUnintelligible.
ElectiveUnintelligible. If the translator is in on it too or wants to have some fun of their own, they may become a TrollingTranslator.
7th Jun '17 11:11:57 AM Discar
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/DoctorWho'': When the Doctor meets the Pope, a cardinal translates the Pope's Italian into English. Of course, [[{{Omniglot}} the Doctor speaks all languages]], but he doesn't mention it in order to be polite. You can see him trying not to look annoyed.
30th May '17 6:27:26 PM nombretomado
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* The inversion is fairly common in actual diplomacy. Not speaking a foreigner's language, even if you know it, is often a point of pride for state leaders, and as a result end up using translators even though they're not actually required. For instance, Angela Merkel certainly speaks English, but when she holds a press conference with UsefulNotes/BarackObama or UsefulNotes/DavidCameron, you can be damn sure that she will have a translator and speak in German. As mentioned in ''TheWestWing'' example above, this is also done for the benefit of political sovereignty; while the representatives of two nations with different official languages might speak each other's language perfectly well, it may be interpreted an act of subservience for one party to use the other party's native tongue, so sticking to their respective official languages keeps things neutral. In private, this trope is played straight.

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* The inversion is fairly common in actual diplomacy. Not speaking a foreigner's language, even if you know it, is often a point of pride for state leaders, and as a result end up using translators even though they're not actually required. For instance, Angela Merkel certainly speaks English, but when she holds a press conference with UsefulNotes/BarackObama or UsefulNotes/DavidCameron, you can be damn sure that she will have a translator and speak in German. As mentioned in ''TheWestWing'' ''Series/TheWestWing'' example above, this is also done for the benefit of political sovereignty; while the representatives of two nations with different official languages might speak each other's language perfectly well, it may be interpreted an act of subservience for one party to use the other party's native tongue, so sticking to their respective official languages keeps things neutral. In private, this trope is played straight.
16th Apr '17 3:49:15 PM intastiel
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* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'', Billy Slick the goblin acts as a translator between Granny Slick and Captain Carrot. After the interview, Carrot asks Billy to congratulate his grandmother for having such an excellent grasp of Morporkian, and there's a burst of laughter from the cottage...

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* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In
''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'', Billy Slick the goblin acts as a translator between Granny Slick and Captain Carrot. After the interview, Carrot asks Billy to congratulate his grandmother for having such an excellent grasp of Morporkian, and there's a burst of laughter from the cottage...cottage...
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', the EvilChancellor Dios claims this position as High Priest to the [[GodEmperor God-Kings]] of Djelibeybi. Whatever orders those kings give, he "interprets" their words to match the traditions that he's been enforcing for [[spoiler:[[TimeAbyss over seven thousand]]]] years.



* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'': In the book series, Jabba the Hutt is revealed to not need an interpreter. He just likes to keep one around as a status symbol, and because he won't condescend to speaking any language but Huttese, though he is able to. He never makes any pretense of needing a translator to ''understand'' Basic, though his translator does actually translate more exotic languages like Ubese for him. The only exception in the novels was when Prince Xizor, head of a criminal empire that could have wiped out Jabba's enterprises in a fit of boredom, demanded he speak Basic. Unsurprisingly, the Hutt complied.

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* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'': In the book series, Jabba the Hutt is revealed to not need an interpreter. He just likes to keep one around as a status symbol, and because he won't condescend to speaking any language but Huttese, though he is able to. He never makes any pretense of needing a translator to ''understand'' Basic, though his translator does actually translate more exotic languages like Ubese for him. The only exception in the novels was is when Prince Xizor, head of a criminal empire that could have wiped wipe out Jabba's enterprises in a fit of boredom, demanded demands he speak Basic. Unsurprisingly, the Hutt complied.complies.
14th Mar '17 7:11:25 PM dmcreif
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* In ''Series/{{Daredevil|2015}}'', James Wesley acts as a translator between the leaders of the gangs that work with Wilson Fisk. It turns out Madame Gao can speak English (she can speak ''[[{{Omniglot}} all]]'' languages), but pretends not to as part of her ObfuscatingStupidity. Nobu, meanwhile, can speak English fluently, but not ''perfectly'', making Wesley's translation [[DownplayedTrope non-vital, but not entirely redundant]] -- mostly Nobu just takes issue with Wesley [[TactfulTranslation watering down his words]]. And Fisk can speak Mandarin and Japanese, and has Wesley translate for him so that his associates underestimate him. Wesley acts annoyed when Madame Gao calls him and Fisk out on their ruse.

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* In ''Series/{{Daredevil|2015}}'', ''Series/{{Daredevil|2015}}'': James Wesley acts as a translator between the leaders of the gangs that work with Wilson Fisk. It turns out Madame Gao can speak English (she can speak ''[[{{Omniglot}} all]]'' languages), but pretends not to as part of her ObfuscatingStupidity. Nobu, meanwhile, can speak English fluently, but not ''perfectly'', making Wesley's translation [[DownplayedTrope non-vital, but not entirely redundant]] -- mostly Nobu just takes issue with Wesley [[TactfulTranslation watering down his words]]. And Fisk can speak Mandarin and Japanese, and has Wesley translate for him so that his associates underestimate him. Wesley acts annoyed when Madame Gao calls him and Fisk out on their ruse.
13th Mar '17 11:11:49 AM DaibhidC
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* ''Comicbook/NewSuperman'' #9 opens with Comicbook/LexLuthor visiting the Ministry of Self-Reliance and speaking a few sentences of broken Mandarin. For most of the story I-Ching acts as a TactfulTranslator between Luthor and Kenan. Near the end it turns out Lex speaks Mandarin fluently but likes people to underestimate him.

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* ''Comicbook/NewSuperman'' #9 opens with Comicbook/LexLuthor visiting the Ministry of Self-Reliance and speaking a few sentences of broken Mandarin. For most of the story I-Ching acts as a TactfulTranslator provides TactfulTranslation between Luthor and Kenan. Near the end it turns out Lex speaks Mandarin fluently but likes people to underestimate him.
13th Mar '17 11:09:50 AM DaibhidC
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Comicbook/NewSuperman'' #9 opens with Comicbook/LexLuthor visiting the Ministry of Self-Reliance and speaking a few sentences of broken Mandarin. For most of the story I-Ching acts as a TactfulTranslator between Luthor and Kenan. Near the end it turns out Lex speaks Mandarin fluently but likes people to underestimate him.
30th Jan '17 11:41:14 PM jjeffrey01
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* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', a translator is used to translate Kraznys' Valyrian to the Westeros Common Tongue for Daenerys while they are negotiating a trade. The whole time, Kraznys is particularly vile and calls his guest a whore, among other unsavory things, behind a TactfulTranslation. In the end, it is revealed that [[spoiler:Daenerys' mother tongue is Valyrian. He ends up paying for his rudeness.]]

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* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', a translator is used to translate Kraznys' Valyrian to the Westeros Common Tongue for Daenerys while they are negotiating a trade. The whole time, Kraznys is particularly vile and calls his guest her a whore, among other unsavory things, behind a TactfulTranslation. In the end, it Shortly thereafter, [[spoiler:Daenerys reveals she is revealed that [[spoiler:Daenerys' mother tongue is Valyrian.more than fluent in Valyrian - it's her first language. He ends up paying for his rudeness.]]
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