Created By: Seguir on September 11, 2012 Last Edited By: Seguir on May 21, 2014

Monoglot On Purpose

A foreign character who refuses to speak the language others are using on purpose.

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Trope
A foreign character who refuses to speak the language other characters are speaking on purpose.

Like Dokken on "Lost" or Finland on "Scandinavia and The World".

EDIT: Changed the odd name.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • September 11, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    English only in the name, please. The Latin phrase can be a redirect. But Blackwing the crow (Order Of The Stick) refuses to speak Common for a while, even though he knows it.
  • September 11, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • September 12, 2012
    Seguir
    None of those examples in Elective Unintelligible include foreigners, just outsiders or animals.
  • September 12, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In Scrubs, Carla's brother Marco pretends that he only knows Spanish, but he speaks to and insults Turk in perfect English. Turns out he's only speaking Spanish to Carla because he doesn't want Turk to know what they're saying. Turk tries to tell Carla that her brother does in fact know English, and only is able to successfully convince her by saying something in English that gets Marco mad enough to yell at him without thinking (in English).
  • September 12, 2012
    NimmerStill
    • In the Sliders Season 2 episode "Invasion" it is revealed that Kromaggs refuse to learn a human tongue. This seems to be forgotten by Season 4 though.
    • In {{15Minutes}}, Emil (a Czech) scolds his partner Oleg for speaking his native Russian, which Emil claims is a disgusting language.
    Anyone know how to find the page for 15 Minutes?
  • September 12, 2012
    randomsurfer

  • September 13, 2012
    Rognik
    ^^It might be under Fifteen Minutes? Search the wiki for the page and if you don't find it, assume it still needs a page.

    • Real Life: Many citizens of Quebec, specifically in Montreal, may understand English and are capable of speaking it but refuse to as a point of "national pride" or irritate anglophones who don't even try to speak French.
  • September 13, 2012
    Damr1990
    if someone else knows the language they are speaking in, may result in a Bilingual Backfire
  • September 13, 2012
    Psi001
    In American Dad Steve's friend Toshi speaks solely in Japanese, leading to constant communication problems, despite the fact the rest of his family speaks fluent English.
  • September 13, 2012
    NoRyu
    Litterature: In one of Edding's novel (not the Belgariad, the other one whose title I don't remember), a queen of a distant country feign ignorance of the protagonist language. It's later explained that she likes to have the extra time required by the translation to think up her answers.

    Movie: In Star Wars (expanded universe), Jabba the Hutt can understand Basic, but he can also speak it. He doesn't do it out of pride.
  • September 13, 2012
    McKathlin
    This and Elective Unintelligible are sister tropes; I propose that they link to each other. They have in common that the character can speak the other people's language, but usually chooses not to. The distinction between the two hinges on whether what the character usually speaks is a language in-universe, or just noises.
  • September 13, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^^^^^It looks like it doesn't have one. I have a huge backlog of works pages to create.
  • September 14, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I could swear we have this ... but my searching is coming up empty. Eloquent In My Native Tongue comes the closest by saying "this can be intentionally invoked as Obfuscating Stupidity", but I don't see anything close enough.
  • May 20, 2014
    jormis29
    Bump
  • May 20, 2014
    DAN004
  • May 21, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^^^ You are thinking of Completely Unnecessary Translator.
  • May 21, 2014
    robbulldog
    Film
    • In Rush Hour, Jackie Chan's character Lee pretends to not understand English for the first few minutes while he watches Detective Carter.
  • May 21, 2014
    Dalillama
    ^^^^^Relating to that, would this trope cover people who are deliberately doing a You No Take Candle, rather than pretending not to know the language at all. An example would be Ousanas, from the Belisarius Series, who constantly speaks broken pidgin Greek and Ethiopian, but later reveals that it's not even Eloquent In My Own Tongue, he's perfectly capable of speaking both languages fluently and in an educated fashion, but he likes to play up the ignorant savage stereotype to keep people underestimating him.
  • May 21, 2014
    Chabal2
    Lord Wilmore (The Count Of Monte Cristo's English Rich Idiot With No Day Job disguise) is known to understand French, but refuses to speak it.
  • May 21, 2014
    Tuckerscreator
    • BIONICLE: Turaga Nuju refuses to speak anything but an odd clicking language with which he can communicate with birds. He spoke the common tongue fine in his adulthood (and on rare occasion still uses it), but learned the bird speak from his old friend Kualus and uses it in remembrance of him. Now in his old age Nuju believes anyone who doesn't make the effort to work with his language barrier isn't worth speaking to. During official council meetings Matoro serves as his translator.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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