History Main / CompletelyUnnecessaryTranslator

24th Jul '16 9:06:52 AM gemmabeta2
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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. 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'' 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.



** 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 can seem like an act of subservience for one party to use the other party's native tongue, so sticking to their official languages keeps things neutral.
24th Jul '16 6:02:18 AM StFan
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->''"Wait a second - you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!"''
-->-- '''Hurley noticed this trope, {{Series/Lost}}'''

to:

->''"Wait a second - -- you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - -- which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!"''
-->-- '''Hurley noticed this trope, {{Series/Lost}}'''
'''Hurley''', ''Series/{{Lost}}''






[[folder:ComicBooks]]

* Towards the end of ''Comicbook/{{Asterix}} and the Goths'', Getafix, who has been kidnapped by the Goths so they can learn the secret of the magic potion. Getafix has no intention of helping them but the translator lies and says he will because he's been told that if Getafix says no, they will [[ShootTheMessenger both be executed]]. However, Getafix can actually speak Gothic fluently and knows what the translator is doing. Once Asterix and Obelix are thrown in jail with Getafix, he drops the ruse as part of their escape plan.

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[[folder:ComicBooks]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Towards the end of ''Comicbook/{{Asterix}} ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} and the Goths'', Getafix, who has been kidnapped by the Goths so they can learn the secret of the magic potion. Getafix has no intention of helping them but the translator lies and says he will because he's been told that if Getafix says no, they will [[ShootTheMessenger both be executed]]. However, Getafix can actually speak Gothic fluently and knows what the translator is doing. Once Asterix and Obelix are thrown in jail with Getafix, he drops the ruse as part of their escape plan.
plan.



[[folder:FanFic]]

* In the {{Anime/Pokemon}} fanfic "FanFic/{{Symbiosis}}", Pikachu acts as one to [[SpeaksFluentAnimal Ash]] so no one would find out about his abilities. HilarityEnsues when Ash has to pretend that he doesn't know what Pikachu is saying and Pikachu has to [[NonverbalMiscommunication charade]] his message.

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[[folder:FanFic]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the {{Anime/Pokemon}} ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic "FanFic/{{Symbiosis}}", Pikachu acts as one to [[SpeaksFluentAnimal Ash]] so no one no-one would find out about his abilities. HilarityEnsues when Ash has to pretend that he doesn't know what Pikachu is saying and Pikachu has to [[NonverbalMiscommunication charade]] his message.
message.



[[folder:Film]]

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[[folder:Film]][[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]



* Done in ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' in a meeting between Kim Jong-Il and a Chechen terrorist.
--> '''Kim Jong-Il''': ''*[[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign vaguely Korean-sounding gibberish]]*''\\
'''Translator''': He asks what part of the deal you did not understand. He says that perhaps his translator did not make it clear to you. He says he should... [[ExplainExplainOhCrap fire his... translator?]]\\
'''Kim Jong-Il''':''*[[ShootTheMessenger Shoots translator.]]*'' '''DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW [[PrecisionFStrike FUCKING]] BUSY I AM?!'''



--> '''Gwen [=DeMarco=]:''' ''Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it's '''stupid''', but I'm gonna do it! Okay?''

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--> '''Gwen -->'''Gwen [=DeMarco=]:''' ''Look! Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it's '''stupid''', but I'm gonna do it! Okay?''Okay?



* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' book ''Changes'', [[spoiler:The Red King, through his translator, arranges a duel with Dresden. Once Dresden wins, the Red King goes back on his agreement, stating, IN PERFECT ENGLISH, "We never even spoke to each other."]]

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* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
**
In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' the book ''Changes'', ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', [[spoiler:The Red King, through his translator, arranges a duel with Dresden. Once Dresden wins, the Red King goes back on his agreement, stating, IN PERFECT ENGLISH, "We never even spoke to each other."]]



* {{Played for laughs}} in ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'', when [[TheDitz Jack Pumpkinhead]] and the Scarecrow decide since they are from different countries in Oz, they must require a translator, who proceeds to wreak havoc on the conversation until they realize that they are speaking the same language.
** ComicallyMissingThePoint: Even when discussing the need for a translator, the Scarecrow and Jack are talking with each other and responding to what each other says:
-->"Won't you take a chair while we are waiting?" \\
"Your Majesty forgets that I cannot understand you," replied the Pumpkinhead. "If you wish me to sit down you must make a sign for me to do so." The Scarecrow came down from his throne and rolled an armchair to a position behind the Pumpkinhead. Then he gave Jack a sudden push that sent him sprawling upon the cushions in so awkward a fashion that he doubled up like a jackknife, and had hard work to untangle himself. \\
"Did you understand that sign?" asked His Majesty, politely.

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* {{Played for laughs}} in ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'', when [[TheDitz Jack Pumpkinhead]] and the Scarecrow decide since they are from different countries in Oz, they must require a translator, who proceeds to wreak havoc on the conversation until they realize that they are speaking the same language.
** ComicallyMissingThePoint:
language. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint: Even when discussing the need for a translator, translator,]] the Scarecrow and Jack are talking with each other and responding to what each other says:
-->"Won't -->''"Won't you take a chair while we are waiting?" \\
"Your Majesty forgets that I cannot understand you," replied the Pumpkinhead. "If you wish me to sit down you must make a sign for me to do so." The Scarecrow came down from his throne and rolled an armchair to a position behind the Pumpkinhead. Then he gave Jack a sudden push that sent him sprawling upon the cushions in so awkward a fashion that he doubled up like a jackknife, and had hard work to untangle himself. \\
"Did you understand that sign?" asked His Majesty, politely.''



* ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'': A variation occurs when TheProfessor Aronnax, BattleButler Conseil, and IdiotHero Ned Land cannot understand the language used by their captors, every one of them try to talk to them in their respective native languages (French, German, and English, respectively). When their captors didn’t react, Aronnax spoke Latin without success. In a second interview, the man that will present himself later as Captain Nemo tells them:
-->''...After some moments of silence, which not one of us dreamed of breaking, "Gentlemen," said he, in a calm and penetrating voice, "I speak French, English, German, and Latin equally well. I could, therefore, have answered you at our first interview, but I wished to know you first, then to reflect…"''

to:

* ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'': A variation occurs when TheProfessor Aronnax, BattleButler Conseil, and IdiotHero Ned Land cannot understand the language used by their captors, every one of them try to talk to them in their respective native languages (French, German, and English, respectively). When their captors didn’t didn't react, Aronnax spoke Latin without success. In a second interview, the man that will present himself later as Captain Nemo tells them:
-->''...After some moments of silence, which not one of us dreamed of breaking, "Gentlemen," said he, in a calm and penetrating voice, "I speak French, English, German, and Latin equally well. I could, therefore, have answered you at our first interview, but I wished to know you first, then to reflect…"'' reflect..."''



* WheelOfTime has the Seanchan Empress/Emperor's Voice, who the Empress/Emperor communicates with in a personalized sign language and the Voice then says what was just said to her.

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* WheelOfTime ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' has the Seanchan Empress/Emperor's Voice, who the Empress/Emperor communicates with in a personalized sign language and the Voice then says what was just said to her.



[[folder:LiveActionTV]]

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[[folder:LiveActionTV]][[folder:Live-Action TV]]



-->'''Hurley''': Wait a second - you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!
* This was done in ''TheWestWing''; they had to find someone who spoke an obscure language, so they found a Cook who spoke it and Portuguese and had someone translate the Portuguese, only to find out the guy spoke perfect English.
** Also occurred in a US-China summit. The Chinese Premier spoke perfect English, but all official meetings were conducted with a translator as per usual diplomatic protocol. Switching language for anything more than pleasantries could be interpreted an act of subservience, and would lead to a loss of diplomatic face. The real negotiations were all done in the backroom and in English.[[note]]Although it's not a well known fact, English is practically the national second language of China, where more people speak English than do in the ''United States''.[[/note]]
* On ''Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'' the investor from Macau pretended not to speak English, having his daughter or wife translate. He just likes messing with people, leading to a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
-->'''Jack Rudolph''': ...You speak English?
-->'''Chinese Businessman''': A few words.
-->'''Jack Rudolph''': How many?
-->'''Chinese Businessman''': All of them.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', when the Russian general was first introduced, he came with a [[TactfulTranslation Tactful Translator]]. When Daniel Jackson revealed he understood everything the general was saying, the General then revealed he was fluent in English anyway.
** Trying to bluff your way past a linguist [[InformedAbility fluent in 29 languages]] (and that's not counting his knowledge of Goa'uld and, later, Ancient) is not a good idea.
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/YesMinister''. [[BeleagueredBureaucrat Bernard]] is organising a funeral where the Prime Minister will have to speak to the leaders of foreign nations. He has to quickly clarify that translators won't be needed when the Prime Minister meets the leaders of certain nations - the English speaking ones. He then has to clarify again that this does include America, "with a certain generosity of spirit."

to:

-->'''Hurley''': -->'''Hurley:''' Wait a second - -- you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - -- which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!
* This was done in ''TheWestWing''; they had ''Series/TheWestWing'':
** They have
to find someone who spoke speaks an obscure language, so they found finds a Cook who spoke speaks it and Portuguese and had have someone translate the Portuguese, only to find out the guy spoke speaks perfect English.
** Also occurred occurs in a US-China summit. The Chinese Premier spoke speaks perfect English, but all official meetings were are conducted with a translator as per usual diplomatic protocol. Switching language for anything more than pleasantries could be interpreted an act of subservience, and would lead to a loss of diplomatic face. The real negotiations were are all done in the backroom and in English.[[note]]Although it's not a well known fact, English is practically the national second language of China, where more people speak English than do in the ''United States''.[[/note]]
* On ''Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'' ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'' the investor from Macau pretended not to speak English, having his daughter or wife translate. He just likes messing with people, leading to a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
-->'''Jack Rudolph''': ...Rudolph:''' ...You speak English?
-->'''Chinese Businessman''':
English?\\
'''Chinese Businessman:'''
A few words.
-->'''Jack Rudolph''':
words.\\
'''Jack Rudolph:'''
How many?
-->'''Chinese Businessman''':
many?\\
'''Chinese Businessman:'''
All of them.
them.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', when the Russian general was is first introduced, he came comes with a [[TactfulTranslation Tactful Translator]]. {{Tactful Translat|ion}}or. When Daniel Jackson revealed reveals he understood understands everything the general was is saying, the General then revealed reveals he was is fluent in English anyway.
**
anyway. Trying to bluff your way past a linguist [[InformedAbility fluent in 29 languages]] (and that's not counting his knowledge of Goa'uld and, later, Ancient) is not a good idea.
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/YesMinister''. [[BeleagueredBureaucrat Bernard]] is organising organizing a funeral where the Prime Minister will have to speak to the leaders of foreign nations. He has to quickly clarify that translators won't be needed when the Prime Minister meets the leaders of certain nations - the English speaking ones. He then has to clarify again that this does include America, "with a certain generosity of spirit."



* 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 claims she can speak ''[[{{Omniglot}} all]]'' languages), but pretended 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's TactfulTranslation. And then it turns out Fisk can speak both Mandarin and Japanese, which was something else Wesley didn't know. He even seems to have a "What the fuck am I doing then?" look on his face when Fisk's fluency is revealed to him.
* TheChasersWarOnEverything had a sketch where a man asked people for directions in English with an American accent and claimed not to understand their Australian accents and assumed they couldn't understand him either. Another guy then came over who would "translate" between the two people.

to:

* 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 claims she can speak ''[[{{Omniglot}} all]]'' languages), but pretended 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 redundant]] -- mostly Nobu just takes issue with Wesley's TactfulTranslation. And then it turns out Fisk can speak both Mandarin and Japanese, which was something else Wesley didn't know. He even seems to have a "What the fuck am I doing then?" look on his face when Fisk's fluency is revealed to him.
* TheChasersWarOnEverything had ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' has a sketch where a man asked people for directions in English with an American accent and claimed not to understand their Australian accents and assumed they couldn't understand him either. Another guy then came over who would "translate" between the two people.



-->'''Translator''': He's my husband. And an idiot.

to:

-->'''Translator''': -->'''Translator:''' He's my husband. And an idiot.



[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]

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[[folder:Religion and Mythology]][[folder:Myths & Religion]]



[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Done in ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' in a meeting between Kim Jong-Il and a Chechen terrorist.
-->'''Kim Jong-Il:''' [[[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign vaguely Korean-sounding gibberish]]]\\
'''Translator:''' He asks what part of the deal you did not understand. He says that perhaps his translator did not make it clear to you. He says he should... [[ExplainExplainOhCrap fire his... translator?]]\\
'''Kim Jong-Il:''' ''[[[ShootTheMessenger shoots translator]]]'' '''DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW [[PrecisionFStrike FUCKING]] BUSY I AM?!'''
[[/folder]]



* PlanescapeTorment allows you to possibly use this yourself. Dabus, the servants of [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Lady of Pain]], only communicate via Rebus, a symbolic "language" that consists of a series of pictures that appear above their heads. If the main character has high enough intelligence and wisdom scores, he can understand them. However, he can still ask Annah, Grace, or Dak'kon to translate for him. At one point, this can be used to reveal plot information: [[spoiler:talking to Fell, the Dabus tattoo artist and having Dak'kon translate for you (provided you can understand Rebus already) will allow you to catch Dak'kon lying to you. Calling him on it reveals information about how he's connected to your past.]]
* [[SaintsRow1 Saints Row]] has Mr. Wong, who sits there speaking Chinese until [[YouHaveFailedMe his translator makes a mistake]], after which he switches to speaking fluent English.

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* PlanescapeTorment ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' allows you to possibly use this yourself. Dabus, the servants of [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Lady of Pain]], only communicate via Rebus, a symbolic "language" that consists of a series of pictures that appear above their heads. If the main character has high enough intelligence and wisdom scores, he can understand them. However, he can still ask Annah, Grace, or Dak'kon to translate for him. At one point, this can be used to reveal plot information: [[spoiler:talking to Fell, the Dabus tattoo artist and having Dak'kon translate for you (provided you can understand Rebus already) will allow you to catch Dak'kon lying to you. Calling him on it reveals information about how he's connected to your past.]]
* [[SaintsRow1 Saints Row]] ''VideoGame/SaintsRow1'' has Mr. Wong, who sits there speaking Chinese until [[YouHaveFailedMe his translator makes a mistake]], after which he switches to speaking fluent English.



* ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'': Lamiroir pretends to need an interpreter even though she speaks English, as part of her "exotic singer" stage persona. She really does need his help for other languages, however.

to:

* ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'': ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'':
**
Lamiroir pretends to need an interpreter even though she speaks English, as part of her "exotic singer" stage persona. She really does need his help for other languages, however.



* Early in Shizune's route of KatawaShoujo, Hisao learns sign language, but is hesitant to tell Shizune or use it to talk to her until he is able to use it well. He has [[TranslatorBuddy Misha]] translate, despite her being fully aware that he is learning sign language. Unbeknownst to him, Misha has already told Shizune that Hisao is learning sign language.

to:

* Early in Shizune's route of KatawaShoujo, ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', Hisao learns sign language, but is hesitant to tell Shizune or use it to talk to her until he is able to use it well. He has [[TranslatorBuddy Misha]] translate, despite her being fully aware that he is learning sign language. Unbeknownst to him, Misha has already told Shizune that Hisao is learning sign language.



[[folder: Webcomics]]
* In ''WebComic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', the narrator performs this service for the readers, translating Spanish words that don't need translation e.g. "señor", or in one panel translating "policía" as police ... and providing a separate footnote for each of the four times the word is spoken on that page.

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[[folder: Webcomics]]
[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''WebComic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', the narrator performs this service for the readers, translating Spanish words that don't need translation e.g. "señor", or in one panel translating "policía" as police ...police... and providing a separate footnote for each of the four times the word is spoken on that page.



* In ''FriskyDingo'', ancient Chinese sweatshop worker Old Spice is eventually revealed to speak English after entire episodes of only communicating in Chinese and having Xander Crews (who knew he spoke English) translate for him. This only came to light after Killface insulted Old Spice's "car" (Crews misheard Old Spice, who was actually talking about his wife) and Crews berated him. "What does it matter what I say about his bloody car?" "Well, he speaks English!" "...You speak English?" "Yes!"

to:

* In ''FriskyDingo'', ''WesternAnimation/FriskyDingo'', ancient Chinese sweatshop worker Old Spice is eventually revealed to speak English after entire episodes of only communicating in Chinese and having Xander Crews (who knew he spoke English) translate for him. This only came to light after Killface insulted Old Spice's "car" (Crews misheard Old Spice, who was actually talking about his wife) and Crews berated him. "What does it matter what I say about his bloody car?" "Well, he speaks English!" "...You speak English?" "Yes!"



* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', most of the humor with Toshi comes from what everyone ''thinks'' he's saying in Japanese, which is at odds at the various disparaging remarks and death threats he's actually throwing at people. It's later revealed he actually understands English perfectly fine, but [[ElectiveUnintelligible refuses]] to speak anything other than Japanese out of nationalistic pride, forcing his sister to step in and translate for him on occasion.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', most ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'':
** Most
of the humor with Toshi comes from what everyone ''thinks'' he's saying in Japanese, which is at odds at the various disparaging remarks and death threats he's actually throwing at people. It's later revealed he actually understands English perfectly fine, but [[ElectiveUnintelligible refuses]] to speak anything other than Japanese out of nationalistic pride, forcing his sister to step in and translate for him on occasion.






** Also, statements at a press conference are official statements where every nuance can turn out to be important and the subject of thorough interpretation in the media and elsewhere, so unless politicians are very competent and confident expressing themselves in a second language, it is simply common sense to use a translator. A welcome side-effect is that having the question translated first gives a person more time to consider the answer.
*** It also avoids becoming a laughing stock by accidentally declaring yourself a jelly doughnut, or the press falsely declaring you had done so as happened in that case.
** Spain has three languages spoken in some regions (as well as Spanish in the whole country, of course). Figureheads and important people of those regions will use their regional languages as much as possible, ''even though they know Spanish''.
** However, this extends to things such as restaurants having nearly a dozen dialects in their menus, because Spanish ''isn't'' agreed upon by everyone, and some would say was forced on them. Notably, some Catalans want to secede due to legitimate cultural differences, showing that this goes beyond trivial or unnecessary.

to:

** Also, statements at a press conference are official statements where every nuance can turn out to be important and the subject of thorough interpretation in the media and elsewhere, so unless politicians are very competent and confident expressing themselves in a second language, it is simply common sense to use a translator. A welcome side-effect is that having the question translated first gives a person more time to consider the answer.
***
answer. It also avoids becoming a laughing stock by accidentally declaring yourself a jelly doughnut, or the press falsely declaring you had done so as happened in that case.
** Spain has three languages spoken in some regions (as well as Spanish in the whole country, of course). Figureheads and important people of those regions will use their regional languages as much as possible, ''even though they know Spanish''.
**
Spanish''. However, this extends to things such as restaurants having nearly a dozen dialects in their menus, because Spanish ''isn't'' agreed upon by everyone, and some would say was forced on them. Notably, some Catalans want to secede due to legitimate cultural differences, showing that this goes beyond trivial or unnecessary.



* Subverted in the Chinese-US negotiations after the Hainan aircraft collision in 2000. The negotations and all diplomatic drafts were done in English rather than Chinese. One reason for this was that the solution to this crisis was the "Letter of the Two Sorries". Using English allows the US say it was "very sorry" but to claim that this was not an apology and to allow the Chinese to claim that it was. Chinese is much more precise and would not allow for this sort of ambiguity.

to:

* Subverted in the Chinese-US negotiations after the Hainan aircraft collision in 2000. The negotations negotiations and all diplomatic drafts were done in English rather than Chinese. One reason for this was that the solution to this crisis was the "Letter of the Two Sorries". Using English allows the US say it was "very sorry" but to claim that this was not an apology and to allow the Chinese to claim that it was. Chinese is much more precise and would not allow for this sort of ambiguity.



* Invoked during the Cuban Missile Crisis by Ambassador Adlai Stevenson at the UN Security Council: "Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the U.S.S.R. has placed and is placing medium -- and intermediate-range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no—don't wait for the translation—yes or no?"

to:

* Invoked during the Cuban Missile Crisis by Ambassador Adlai Stevenson at the UN Security Council: "Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the U.S.S.R. has placed and is placing medium -- medium- and intermediate-range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no—don't no -- don't wait for the translation—yes translation -- yes or no?"



* Apparently taken to extremes in the former Yugoslavia at least once: Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian are highly mutually intelligible, falling under what used to be called Serbo-Croatian with different dialects. In Bosnia, it is reported that one court trial ended up requiring an interpreter for "Bosnian to Croatian" for a trial held in a Croat-majority district. Note: This is like requesting an interpreter for "English to Australian."

to:

* Apparently taken to extremes in the former Yugoslavia at least once: Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian are highly mutually intelligible, falling under what used to be called Serbo-Croatian with different dialects. In Bosnia, it is reported that one court trial ended up requiring an interpreter for "Bosnian to Croatian" for a trial held in a Croat-majority district. Note: This is like requesting an interpreter for "English to Australian."Australian".



* German band {{Music/Rammstein}} did an interview for an American radio show once through a translator. When asked about the meaning behind one of their songs, they gave a long reply in German, which the translator struggled to find an appropriate English equivalent for. One of the band members gave a much shorter answer in English himself. The next time one of the band members was interviewed on that show, it was in English without a translator.
* A lot of senior Polish military officers during World War II previously served in German or Austrian armed forces during World War I and spoke German fluently. However, in German captivity, many insisted on having translators. One example of this is Admiral Jozef Unrug, who was a high ranking German navy officer during World War I and actually spoke Polish poorly when he was called upon to head the navy of reborn Poland. He never spoke a word of German in captivity, even when the Germans brought his old friends and colleagues from his days in German navy in attempt to gain his cooperation.

to:

* German band {{Music/Rammstein}} Music/{{Rammstein}} did an interview for an American radio show once through a translator. When asked about the meaning behind one of their songs, they gave a long reply in German, which the translator struggled to find an appropriate English equivalent for. One of the band members gave a much shorter answer in English himself. The next time one of the band members was interviewed on that show, it was in English without a translator.
* A lot of senior Polish military officers during World War II previously served in German or Austrian armed forces during World War I and spoke German fluently. However, in German captivity, many insisted on having translators. One example of this is Admiral Jozef Unrug, who was a high ranking high-ranking German navy officer during World War I and actually spoke Polish poorly when he was called upon to head the navy of reborn Poland. He never spoke a word of German in captivity, even when the Germans brought his old friends and colleagues from his days in German navy in attempt to gain his cooperation.





1st Jul '16 1:39:46 AM PaulA
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* Used in ''TheTamuli'' by at least two rulers, since the time for translation gives them a chance to think about what they're going to say.

to:

* Used in ''TheTamuli'' ''Literature/TheTamuli'' by at least two rulers, since the time for translation gives them a chance to think about what they're going to say.
23rd Jun '16 2:16:19 PM DaibhidC
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->'''Hurley''': Wait a second - you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!

to:

->'''Hurley''': -->'''Hurley''': Wait a second - you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!


Added DiffLines:

* An episode of ''Series/{{Doctors}}'' featured an Asian bus driver who saved a boy's life with his [[WorthlessForeignDegree Worthless Foreign Medical Licence]], and then claimed not to speak English to avoid dealing with the fallout. Unfortunately, the translator they called in knew for a fact he ''did'' speak English.
-->'''Translator''': He's my husband. And an idiot.
3rd Jun '16 3:48:38 PM PixelKnight
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* ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'': One of the foreign leaders does this to Fudge at the World Cup. His only reason is that watching Fudge mime everything "vos very funny."

to:

* ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'': One of the foreign leaders does this to Fudge at the World Cup.Cup, with the added benefit of not actually having a translator. His only reason is that watching Fudge mime everything "vos very funny."
22nd May '16 3:45:05 PM dmcreif
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* In ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', Wesley acts as a translator between the leaders of the gangs that work with Fisk. It turns out Madame Gao can speak English (she claims she can speak ''[[{{Omniglot}} every ]]'' language), but pretended 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's TactfulTranslation. And then it turns out Fisk can speak both Mandarin and Japanese, which was something else Wesley didn't know.

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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 claims she can speak ''[[{{Omniglot}} every ]]'' language), all]]'' languages), but pretended 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's TactfulTranslation. And then it turns out Fisk can speak both Mandarin and Japanese, which was something else Wesley didn't know. He even seems to have a "What the fuck am I doing then?" look on his face when Fisk's fluency is revealed to him.



* In an episode of ''Series/BreakingBad'', Gus is acting as translator between the English-speaking Jesse and the Spanish-speaking cartel men. That is, until the chief chemist reveals that he can speak English when Jesse calls him an asshole. Jesse is unfazed and [[RefugeInAudacity still intimidates the men into complying with]] ''his'' method of cooking Walt's meth.

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* In an the ''Series/BreakingBad'' episode of ''Series/BreakingBad'', "Salud", Gus Fring is acting as translator between the English-speaking Jesse and the Spanish-speaking cartel men. That is, until the chief chemist reveals that he can speak English when Jesse calls him an asshole. Jesse is unfazed and [[RefugeInAudacity still intimidates the men into complying with]] ''his'' method of cooking Walt's meth.
15th May '16 1:06:57 AM Shaid
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Added DiffLines:

** Another episode parodied this when Toshi's mother says "Why do you only speak Japanese? I don't even speak Japanese!" And when she meets Francine, the latter doesn't understand her perfect and accent-free English, calling out to the room "Does anybody speak sushi hostess?"
13th May '16 2:55:45 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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** Shown in ''The Special Relationship'' biopic, Creator/MichaelSheen's TonyBlair has just been elected Prime Minister. His advisor tells him that the French President Jacques Chirac is on the line to congratulate him. Even though Chirac knows English, the advisor tells Blair that he'll probably speak French as a political statement. In response, Blair, who knows French, replies in English.

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** Shown in ''The Special Relationship'' biopic, Creator/MichaelSheen's TonyBlair UsefulNotes/TonyBlair has just been elected Prime Minister. His advisor tells him that the French President Jacques Chirac is on the line to congratulate him. Even though Chirac knows English, the advisor tells Blair that he'll probably speak French as a political statement. In response, Blair, who knows French, replies in English.
22nd Apr '16 2:52:21 AM Malachi108
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->''"Wait a second - you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!"''
-->-- '''Hurley noticed this trope, {{Series/Lost}}'''



* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': The leader of the people at the temple speaks English, he just doesn't like doing it, necessitating a translator.

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* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': The Dogen, the leader of the people at the temple speaks temple, knows English, he just but doesn't like doing speaking it, necessitating a translator.translator. He eventually drops the act.
->'''Hurley''': Wait a second - you're not translating anything I say to ''him'' - which means ''you'' totally understand me, dude!
4th Apr '16 12:12:39 AM erforce
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* Done in ''TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' in a meeting between Kim Jong-Il and a Chechen terrorist.

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* Done in ''TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' in a meeting between Kim Jong-Il and a Chechen terrorist.



* A justified (from the "foreigner's" perspective) example, from ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean: At World's End'', where the pirate boss has a ''huge'', imposing BadassBaritone 'translator' to speak for him. When the translator says the wrong thing at the wrong time and gets shot for his trouble, the pirate leader eventually speaks up... [[VocalDissonance in a hilariously soft and squeaky voice]].

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* A justified (from the "foreigner's" perspective) example, from ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean: At World's End'', ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', where the pirate boss has a ''huge'', imposing BadassBaritone 'translator' to speak for him. When the translator says the wrong thing at the wrong time and gets shot for his trouble, the pirate leader eventually speaks up... [[VocalDissonance in a hilariously soft and squeaky voice]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.CompletelyUnnecessaryTranslator