->'''Marge:''' You...you speak English?\\
'''Kang:''' I am actually speaking Rigelian. By an astonishing coincidence, both of our languages are exactly the same.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''

As unlikely as it may seem, most alien species can speak English -- or [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Japanese]], or French, or whatever the language of the show's producers and intended demographic is. [[PardonMyKlingon This has the added advantage that the characters can sometimes lapse into their native tongue when the script demands]].

Sometimes this is a case of TranslatorMicrobes or the TranslationConvention, where the aliens are logically assumed to be speaking their own language and the words are getting translated en route (and [[FridgeLogic any questions]] of why their lip movements should synch with their ''translated'' dialogue instead of [[HongKongDub syncing with their original tongue]] can [[BellisariosMaxim be simply ignored]]). On the other hand, sometimes the aliens really ''did'' learn to speak English -- hey, if they've been [[AliensStealCable watching our television shows all this time]], they could have easily figured it out by now. Of course, if a story is not about a First Contact scenario, and the aliens have been in contact with humanity for a while, [[JustifiedTrope the aliens speak English because they have dealings with English-speaking humans]]. Or in stories where aliens have been influencing Earth civilization for long enough, it could be that they speak English because it was their language first and ''they'' taught it to ''us''. Sometimes, authors also like to have some short explanation, even if it is only a quick {{Handwave}}.

If you want to keep things lively, using a BilingualDialogue with ''alienese'' as the foreign language is always cool. If you want your aliens to be quite scary, have them instead speak in the BlackSpeech.

Usually these are AcceptableBreaksFromReality, because not knowing what the aliens are saying would be quite uninteresting, and having the show's cast spend the first half of every episode learning how to say 'hello' in the Alien Language of the Week ''seriously'' undercuts the story and makes the people who are listening to it in-universe with sentences like "I don't understand this". However, Aliens Speaking English isn't totally inevitable either, as it isn't that impossible to put an imaginary language and English subtitles.

Sometimes, the language is quite like the earthen language of the author, but the words and expressions involving "earth" and "human" are replaced by [[HoldYourHippogriffs puns using the word the aliens uses to name themselves]].

If the words are understandable but the grammar rules are not, then it's a StrangeSyntaxSpeaker. See EternalEnglish for the time travel equivalent. Occasionally justified by a CommonTongue. Compare AnimeAccentAbsence for when the Japanese forget to put accents on their foreign characters.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Lum, Ten, and Lum's father from ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'' speak Japanese, but Lum's mother cannot (her speech is rendered as {{TabletopGame/Mahjong}} tiles). Rei can say just a few words, and Lum forgets Japanese for an episode after getting hit by a baseball. But... practically every alien other than Lum's mother is fluent. Benten, Oyuki, Ran, Elle, the taxi driver...
* All those aliens in ''Manga/ToLoveRu'' seem to have their Japanese down just fine. Although apparently it did take some time for Lala to learn the written language.
* Intergalactic demons from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' seem to speak impeccable Japanese (or whatever the language of the version you're watching), although at times, various aliens speak their native tongue, such as Frieza, though it makes you wonder why they choose to speak the earthings' language in the first place. The Namekians also have their own native language, as one of the village elders speaks it to try and confuse Frieza, although Frieza is well aware of the fact that he can speak Japanese. Also, the Namekian dragon can only be released by a password spoken in Namekian and [[LanguageOfMagic wishes can only be made in the Namekian language]]. This is made more confusing by the fact that the Dragon itself speaks normal Japanese.
** The English dub mentions a "Universal Language", but this isn't in the Japanese version.
** Fan theories have it that the scouters used by most of the alien species in Frieza's employ also double as translator devices (though this would fail to account why Frieza can speak to someone like Krillin, who doesn't wear a scouter, and be understood).
** ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' plays with this just like everything else, stating that English is the universal language. They also fix the issue with Porunga by having him speak only Namekian (which sounds suspiciously like Klingon), though he is later taught English to make granting wishes more convenient for the heroes.
* In ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', America's alien friend Tony speaks English. ("Fucking limey!")
** Even in Japanese. Tony somehow speaks better English than anglo countries do! Which perhaps is more of positive reflection upon Tony's actor compared to the rest of them, than it is a negative one upon the characters themselves.
* The HumanAliens in ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' speak Japanese. Their computers [[RoboSpeak speak]] [[GratuitousEnglish English]] (or [[GratuitousGerman German]]). [[FridgeLogic Think about that for a second.]] Although magic enables telepathy, so a translation effect as an extension of that makes a certain amount of sense. As for the devices, one can assume that they are speaking Midchildan or Belkan, rendered into English or German for the sake of aesthetics. In the non-translated manga; a random TSAB team training in the field is singing a marching song in English. It would seem actual English is the language the TSAB speaks.
* In ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'', this is half played straight as every population speaks (or [[MagicalNativeAmerican telepathically]] [[RecycledINSPACE thinks]]) in the same language, but the Mejerran pirates can't read Tarak computer panels. [[FridgeBrilliance This is intentional.]] Both planets speak Japanese, but the Majarrians write only in kana, and the Tarakkians write only in kanji. It's a backhanded reference to a popular treatise on the Japanese language published in the 1950s; in one passage it compares instances of male and female writing that approach this extreme, and remarks that to look at them you'd scarcely think they were in the same language.
* Villains in ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' are often Aliens. The [[Anime/SailorMoon first anime]]'s hell tree arc, the Death Busters and Shadow Galactica are all full of them. As are the villains of all 3 movies. Aside from a single gag during the Hell Tree Arc, none of them show any signs of speaking anything but perfect Japanese. [[Theatre/SeraMyu The Musicals]] also have new alien characters though this may be to Media limitations (You can't have subtitles in a live show.) The Death Busters were [[spoiler: possessed humans]]. As for the rest, if even the cats can speak the local language, it's [[AWizardDidIt best not to think about it too hard]].
* The El Ninonians in ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'' all speak Japanese.
* Also in ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' the aliens already managed to take over the world but for some reason they all learned Japanese instead of making the humans learn their language. However, there seem to be quite a few different species of aliens, so they might have just all learned the language of the oppressed to spare them the possibly multiple language courses.
* In ''Manga/KashimashiGirlMeetsGirl'', aliens on a research mission learned perfect Japanese before landing, just for convenience.
* When the girls of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' are transported to Cephiro, they seem to take it for granted that everyone speaks Japanese. That is, until they meet Caldina and notice her KansaiRegionalAccent. Then they start asking if there's an Osaka in Cephiro too.
* ''Manga/ShinryakuIkaMusume'': Even though she's not an alien (maybe ...) Ika is believed to be able to speak Japanese because she lived in Japanese coastal waters until coming ashore. She also picks up English really quick.
* Lampshaded in ''Manga/SgtFrog''. Keroro and other keronians/aliens (like mois) speak perfect Japanese/English. When asked about this by Fuyuki he counters by saying that Japanese/English sounds like Keronian.
* Used in ''Manga/{{Dears}}'' when Ren learns Japanese in one night by reading a single Japanese textbook. Justified because it's a genetic trait programmed into the Dears to learn languages. How this also allows her to SPEAK Japanese however is [[VoodooShark never explained]].
* In ''Manga/TheWorldOfNarue'', the HumanAliens all speak Japanese -- because they come from ''Planet Japan'', which has undergone some strange convergent evolution such that they are linguistically and culturally (and biologically) identical to modern-day Japan. Actually, nearly every alien homeworld corresponds to some Earth nation in the same way, [[{{Deconstruction}} the possible implications of which baffle and disturb the aliens to no end]] because Earth has somehow miraculously not destroyed itself while interstellar society is on the edge of constant warfare -- and that's with light years of breathing room between each society!
* The Pillar Men of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureBattleTendency'' aren't aliens, being a race of ancient superhumans, but otherwise fit the bill. The weakest and least intelligent one, Santana, is able to speak full sentences using modern language after overhearing a few conversations. All after a four thousand year slumber. The stronger ones pick up modern language immediately after hearing a few words. What ultimately makes things weirder is that Santana is discovered in Mexico (Kars, Esidisi, and Wamuu are all in Italy) by German archaeologists and their plans are thwarted by a British-American man, and yet everyone still speaks Japanese.
* In ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'' the members of Aliea Academy, aliens from a distant planet who invade Japan, speak fluent Japanese as soon as they first arrive on Earth. Although, [[spoiler:Subverted with the twist: The "aliens" were actually Japanese middle school kids]].
** Played completely straight though in Go: Galaxy, where the aliens are completely real and all speak Japanese.
* ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'': Not only do the members of Aizawa's race speak a perfect Japanese, they even have Japanese names for some reason (at least there is no indication they have a "real" alien-ish name).
* The practice of MagicalGirl groups using English names when their powers originate with aliens (like the above-mentioned ''Sailor Moon'') is mocked, same as everything else in the MagicalGirl genre, by ''Anime/CuteHighEarthDefenseClubLove''.
-->'''[[MentorMascot Wombat:]]''' [[GratuitousEnglish Battle Lovers]] is a venerable and noble title!\\
'''Ryuu:''' Can't be, it's English.\\
'''Io:''' At least be consistent about whether you're an alien or a foreigner.
* Lampshaded in ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure''. Nagisa is confused about how the aliens speak Japanese.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* {{Justified|Trope}} in the Creator/MarvelComics series ''ComicBook/{{Sleepwalker}}'', when the eponymous alien hero learns to speak English because that's the language his human host speaks. The letters page stated that if Sleepwalker had been trapped in the mind of someone who spoke another language, like French or German, he would have begun using that language when he first appeared in the human world.
* One [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] Comicbook/JimmyOlsen story in Franchise/TheDCU had Jimmy stranded on an alien world where everyone spoke English. The explanation? They had studied the universe's languages and adopted English as the ''most efficient!'' Never mind that English--with its various loanwords, silent letters, and how every rule has an exception--is far from the most efficient language on ''this'' planet.
* The ''Franchise/GreenLantern'' books handwave this by having as one of the Ring's capabilities (same as for other corps, in fact) a universal translator. The only time it doesn't work right away is with regards to the Indigo Tribe's language. It still doesn't explain other unaffiliated aliens, but at least part of them is covered.
* Harry Vanderspeigle, the alien protagonist of ''ComicBook/ResidentAlien'' can speak English; justified in that he actually took the time to learn it.
* The [[AllThereInTheManual supplementary material]] ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE'' comics had this:
-->"Our credit's no good but you just ''happen'' to speak our language"
-->"Earth Human Corps got no account here, but ''everyone'' know English. Easiest language around."
* Poked at in ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' when Marks meets the Martians.
--> '''Mark''': "Hey, how do you guys speak English?"
--> '''Martian''': "What's English?"
%%* A similar example occurs in an early issue of ''Comicbook/{{Thunderbolts}}''.
* In ''ComicBook/TheAdventuresOfBarryWeenBoyGenius'' it is stated that most aliens can speak English.
--> '''Alien:''' Well, '''duh'''. ''Novakish'' is the only language that's simpler. And with that you mostly pull your joint and spit.
--> '''Barry:''' Like baseball.
* In a Creator/CarlBarks comic [[Comicbook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Uncle Scrooge]] went underground ([[AccidentalPun No Pun Intended]]) and met the Terries and the Fermies. They talked like cowboys, because through the ground they listened to the radio. As a side effect, [[FridgeBrilliance they thought that money was worthless because people try to give it away on the radio.]] Oh, and they make earthquakes.
* ''ComicBook/TheScrameustache'' justifies the language thing; the aliens have devices which allow them to learn any language in minutes (first time Khena encountered them, conversation took place in ''their'' language, because they had used the device on him while he was sleeping). But the "Aliens have our culture" trope is exaggerated if not parodied: the alien medic wears a red cross!
* Occurs without explanation in ''Webcomic/ZitaTheSpacegirl''. Granted, Zita and (possibly) Joseph are smart kids who are quick on the uptake, but not ''that'' quick. A few of the alien background characters do seem to speak their own languages, curiously enough.
* The ComicBook/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|Mirage}} leave the planet and immediately come upon robots and aliens that speak English (and, in the same town, some who don't).
* In ''Comicbook/ElfQuest'' the elves and trolls speak the same language but humans don't - at least, initially. In the later series the humans seem to be speaking the same language, having possibly learned it from elves along the way. [[FridgeLogic Or something]].
* In ''Comicbook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' Evronians, Xerbians and other alien races speak fluently the Language of the protagonist. He once lampshades it, and one alien (a Grilk) explain that his training included other worlds's languages. For the Others, WordOfGod states that they learned it from watching sci-fi movies.
* Played completely straight when the ComicBook/XMen first met the [[SpacePirates Starjammers]], almost all of whom speak English (albeit in [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe varying]] [[YouNoTakeCandle degrees of]] [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness coherency]]). Nightcrawler comments on this.
-->'''Nightcrawler:''' You speak English?
-->'''Ch'od:''' Doesn't everyone?
** Of course, a few issues later it's revealed that [[spoiler: Corsair, the leader of the Starjammers, is Cyclops' [[DisappearedDad long-lost father]], an Earth-born human who could have taught them American English]].
* ComicStrip/DanDare was always careful to avoid or justify this trope: it was made clear that any aliens who spoke English had learned the language (translator devices were featured, but they were only ever used so that Dan could understand the alien tongues). It was often used as plot point: when Dan was searching for his missing father, aliens who spoke English were proof that Dan was somewhere his father had previously been. A notable complete aversion was the Mercurians, who couldn't have spoken English even if they understood it perfectly, because their mouths were the wrong shape.
* In ''ComicBook/BillyBatsonAndTheMagicOfShazam,'' the Space Ghoul speaks English.
-->"Of course! Doesn't everyone in the known galaxies?"
* In ''ComicStrip/TheWackyAdventuresOfPedro'', some of the aliens can speak English, but others require a translator. One set of comics subverts this by sending Pedro to an asteroid on which most of the aliens speak {{Wingdinglish}}, until he meets a {{Jive| Turkey}}-talker who learns English from watching American TV shows and movies.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': The people of Avalon not even come from the same dimension that Shinji and Asuka were born in; still they talk to both pilots in Japanese, German, English, Latin or whatever idiom they feel more comfortable using. Justified since they have pretty advanced idiom-teaching technology.
* In ''Fanfic/KeepersOfTheElements'', on all of the magical planets, everyone speaks English.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'':
** Shinji, who is [[spoiler:''Franchise/{{Superman}}'']] and thus has [[spoiler:kryptonian DNA]].
** [[spoiler:''[[Franchise/MartianManhunter J'onn J'onzz]]'']] also plays this trope straight when he communicates with Shinji on the Moon.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': Asuka, who [[spoiler:is half-kryptonian]] talks English, German and Japanese. Several ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' alien enemies show up [[spoiler:like Brainiac]] and play the trope straight.
* When the four arrive on C'hou in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', they immediately meet people who speak accented English (much to their relief). Everywhere else they go, everyone speaks English. However, early on, John and Ringo encounter several books in other languages, and Stal mentions that some names (Idri'en Tagen and Raleka) are “old language names.” And different races have different styles of names, suggesting derivation from different languages. As the four have other things to think about and are not linguists, they never delve into this topic.
** When the four return to C'hou in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', everyone, from Natives to outworlders to monsters, speaks English in a wide variety of accents. This is given a HandWave by Spectrem, who says that the Pyar gods put a field around the planet so everyone could understand everyone else.
* The enigmatic [[Fanfic/SinnerBlueDarksMisfortune Celestial]] race can not only speak English fluently, but apparently ''[[{{Omniglot}} all the languages known in the universe]]'' if need be.
* Every alien in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' does this.
* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' fanfilms TROOPS and IMPS both avert the trope by having various aliens speak in their own language while the stormtroopers speak English/Basic.
* Averted, then subverted in ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'', a ''Franchise/MassEffect''[=/=]''Franchise/StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]'']] [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover crossover]]. The Trans-Galactic Republic cannot initially understand asari, salarian, turian, etc. but with the help of an asari MindMeld the barrier is overcome. Then, TranslatorMicrobes show up for the subversion. Language barriers do not come up again after that.
* There are a few examples in ''Fanfic/TheLionKingAdventures'':
** Alien parasites the Inque and the Vimelea speak English.
** A soul stealing alien called Shauri not only speaks English, but is a SurferDude. This odd speech pattern is the result of the creature washing up on the shores of California.
* The implementation varies case by case in the ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' fic ''Fanfic/BaitAndSwitchSTO''. English is canonically an important CommonTongue of the Federation, and a couple of Breen bit characters are specifically stated to be speaking "accented but intelligible Earth Standard English." In other cases TranslationConvention is in effect, and in still others the [[TranslatorMicrobes universal translator]] is in play.
* ''Fanfic/TheNextFrontier'' went to some trouble to justify the trope. The aliens (who in this case are the viewpoint characters for most of the first two acts) [[AliensStealCable learn English from TV]], but the process of deciphering the signal to make it useable on their equipment is briefly addressed[[note]]it's basically reverse [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Eck_Phreaking Van Eck phreaking]], if you were wondering[[/note]] and they're also specifically looking for TV programming aimed at preschoolers. They also have a SubspaceAnsible and the linguistics departments of every university in their home solar system working on the problem full-time.
* Momentarily played with in the Franchise/{{Transformers}} fanfic ''FanFic/{{Eugenesis}}'', where mention is made of someone scrawling graffiti on a building in what to us would read like German, several million years before the German language even existed. Apart from that, though, pretty much everyone speaks English.
* Averted in ''[[FanFic/IntheShadowofGods In the Shadow of Gods]]''. Master Chief can't understand Tali or Garrus, since they don't speak English (or any human language, for that matter).
* ''Fanfic/TheWorldIsYourOysterTheUniverseIsYourNamesake'' explores why this is the case in the Steven Universe universe.
* Applies to the ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug''/''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' story ''Fanfic/{{Ultrasonic}}'', though it's not stated whether they're actually speaking English or French (or at least if Marinette is ''hearing'' English or French).
* ''Fanfic/MareGenius'': Inverted. The ponies speak fluent English, but the ''human'' doesn't. English is her fourth language, behind German, Romanian and French, and while she can communicate (with some difficulty) she is very far from fluent.
* ''Fanfic/OneHundredDaysSgtFrog'': Justified with the insignias on the Keronains' hats which enable them to speak the language closest to their perimeter.

* ''Film/{{Coneheads}}'' pepper their speech with both English and Remulakian. However, the English has [[SpockSpeak no slang and sounds like it was read straight from a book]].
* Jake, the alien cat from ''Film/TheCatFromOuterSpace'' "speaks" English using a form of telepathy thanks to his translator collar.
* The Transformers in the live-action ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' film assimilated languages from the world wide web. WordOfGod states that Megatron, who was frozen inside the Hoover Dam since its construction, picked up languages from the nearby scientists and engineers. Weirdly enough, in the second film, Megatron and Starscream have entire conversations in plain English despite not talking to any humans in particular. In the novelization of the first film Optimus tries to speak Mandarin Chinese to Sam and Mikaela when they meet, which the teens hypothesize that he's trying the language with the highest number of speakers on Earth.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'', the majority of characters speak English ([[TranslationConvention or the viewers' language, translated]]). This is usually referred to as 'Galactic Basic', a [[CommonTongue common galactic language]].
** Some of the finer moments in the original trilogy are when this trope is inverted: [[BilingualDialogue two characters converse, each in their own language, with no subtitles provided]] - Han and Chewie throughout; Uncle Owen and the Jawas, Han and Greedo at Mos Eisley; Han and Jabba in Docking Bay 94; the "spy" and stormtroopers at Mos Eisley; C-3PO and R2-D2 throughout; Luke and R2-D2, Han and the droid at the beginning of ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack;'' C-3PO and the other protocol droid at Bespin; C-3PO and Jabba on Tatooine, Luke and Jabba on Tatooine; and Lando conversing with his copilot in ''Return of The Jedi'' come to mind.
** The beginning of ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' could have used a lot more of this. It did have at least one instance however, Little Annie and Sebulba.
** It's explained in the expanded universe that "Basic" is the human language, and because of demographics, the common interspecies language. However, some non-humans can understand basic but not speak it. Inverted in one of the Expanded Universe novels when Leia goes to Kashyyyk and has difficultly understanding the Wookiees, aside from one, a professional greeter who explains rather sheepishly that he has a speech impediment which makes it easier for "Basic Speakers" to understand. The Greek alphabet also appears in various instances in the EU. The appearance of Greek letters in-universe was eventually explained as being called the Tionese alphabet (Tion being a planet that already existed in SW lore and was of some significance at some point in the galaxy's history).
** In the first edition, there were some English words on computer screens. Replaced by the fictional alphabet Aurebesh in DVD edition (it's still English, it just uses different symbols for the letters).
** Darth Vader's chestplate has ''Hebrew'' script on it, and has since the beginning, so they've never relied ''entirely'' on the Roman alphabet. Always relied on Earthern alphabets, yes, but not always roman.
** Meanwhile, information written in real-world script instead of Aurebesh is referred to as "[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/High_Galactic High Galactic]]."
* Justified in ''Film/StepsTroddenBlack'': According to Meddler, the whole galaxy just switched to English because [[TakeThat they knew English speakers would never bother to learn a second language and this would be easier.]] Its not clear if this is true in universe, or if he's just messing with Oliver.
* ''Film/EarthGirlsAreEasy'' had the furry human aliens learning English via television - resulting in them imitating Jerry Lewis and James Dean, and asking questions like "Are we limp and hard to manage?"
* Centauri from ''Film/TheLastStarfighter'' apparently speaks English without the need for a translator device. Though considering the fact that he had to have spent considerable time on Earth while developing and marketing the Starfighter video game, [[JustifiedTrope it makes sense]]. Also {{handwave}}d for most of the entire outer space portion of the movie as one of the first things Alex Rogan has done is have a 'translator' embedded in him - so the aliens are not speaking English… he's hearing them in English. The Ko-Dan still talk amongst each other in English, although this is likely standard TranslationConvention.
* The Transylvanians in ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' are all capable of both speaking (and singing) in English. It's implied they learned how to speak English from watching old "B" movies such as ''Film/KingKong1933''.
* In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' it's explained Grace opened up a school for the Na'vi and taught them English several years before the film opened. The school was also shut down some time before the film started.
* Justified in ''[[Film/TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossThe8thDimension Buckaroo Banzai]]''. The Red Lectroids originally came to the U.S. back in 1938, so they've had plenty of time to learn English. The Black Lectroids have apparently been studying the Earth for a long time while they were keeping an eye on the Red Lectroid refugees.
* In ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', everything has been learnt by the aliens from "the historical documents". The Thermians still had to use translators (Laliari's broke down in the limo). Presumably, Sarris had one as well. Especially since it's unlikely his LizardFolk race have something called "tissue paper". It's likely he used his own race's material with similar structure, and the translator rendered it as "tissue paper".
* Justified in ''Film/PlanetOfTheApes1968''. The apes all speak English, but that's because [[spoiler:[[ItWasHisSled they were on Earth all along]]]].
* Not truly ''aliens'' per se but Atlantians in ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' magically know every language even though they've been isolated from society for centuries. The attempted justification for this is that the Atlantean language is apparently the mother tongue from which all European languages are descended. This makes about as much sense as someone from ancient Rome being fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Romanian without any prior exposure to them.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Planet 51}}'': Lem and Chuck tell each other "You speak [[{{Beat}} ...]] my language." Some viewers expect a "Rigelian" joke a la ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' (see Western Animation below), but the native name remains [[TheUnreveal unrevealed]].
* Predators in the ''{{Franchise/Predator}}'' movies record, play back and imitate human phrases, but never come up with their own. It's left a bit murky as to how well they actually understand what they're saying, but it's usually good enough to lure unwary humans into their grasp. They understand it enough to make an IronicEcho when appropriate. At the end of ''Predator 2'' one alien messes with a necklace (translator device?) before saying 'Take it. Keep it.' (although only "take it" is subtitled) and handing over a duelling pistol.
%%* ''HunterPrey''%%
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/{{Paul}}'', as demonstrated by the page quote, who has had several decades to learn the language.
* ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951''. [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008 The remake]] one-ups this by having Klaatu speak Mandarin Chinese.
* Played with in ''Film/{{Starman}}'', where the title character knows some of Earth's languages, but only from what was aboard Voyager II. HilarityEnsues as he tries to comprehend simple phrases such as "Take it easy". He is a bit more fluent by the end, but still speaks in broken sentences.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the Turkish film GORA, as Akif points out how hard it is to tell apart the Turks and the aliens. However, the lingua franca here in Turkish, and there are several [[PlayedForLaughs non-Turkish earthlings who cannot communicate with the aliens]].
* In the Soviet sci-fi classic ''[[Film/MoscowCassiopeia Teens in the Universe]]'', both the Cassiopeians and their RidiculouslyHumanRobots initially communicate in short whistles that are translated by the teens' Soviet-made translation device (the device can even translate ''dog barks''). One of the teens even mentions in her log that the whistles are indistinguishable to the human ear. The robots quickly switch to English after observing humans for a short while... and even communicate amongst one another in English instead of their normal whistles. The Cassiopeians are quickly able to learn English after asking the teens to give them the Russian alphabet and a list of commonly-used words, which the translation device provides. Funny enough, when Lob tries to communicate with two robots by writing out a mathematical formula, one of the robots corrects his mistake, which indicates that they understand Latin alphabet, Arabic numerals, and mathematical symbols. Their own writing is incomprehensible to humans.
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', the scenes on Krypton could have been TranslationConvention, and of course Clark has spent nearly his whole life on Earth, but it gets a little weird when the other Kryptonians have little trouble speaking perfect English as soon as they land. The landing message demanding Clark's surrender was broadcast all over the world, shown in whatever the native language of the area is. We can assume that they've figured out how to communicate in whatever languages are necessary.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** When Film/{{Thor}} arrives on Earth, he wakes up and start speaking English, even when logic may indicate that the Asgardians speak Old Norse or a similar language. Thor could have learned English in some moment of his past but this is never even hinted at in the film.
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' features countless alien races all communicating in mostly perfect English, complete with different accents and dialects, with the only issues being that Drax cannot understand figurative language of any sort and Groot can only say the words "I am Groot." A ''very'' brief explanation is given early in the film, when "translator implant in neck" is shown on Quill's rap sheet after he is arrested, implying that he's just experiencing all this in English, however this still leaves the question of how specific metaphors and even hand gestures are universally understood by just about everyone (apparently [[FlippingTheBird the middle finger]] is offensive even on planet Xandar).
* ''Film/InTheNameOfTheKing3LastMission'': the hero is whisked away from modern-day Bulgaria ([[TranslationConvention where the locals all speak Bulgarian-accented English]]) to a fantasy universe where everyone speaks Bulgarian-accented English.
* Everyone in ''Film/JupiterAscending'' not from Earth speaks English and it is never even [[HandWave handwaved away]]. It gets to the point where even the writing in the alien spaceships and bureaucratic offices is in English. A bit jarring, since even Jupiter's family doesn't exclusively speak English.
* ''Film/TheHistoryOfFutureFolk'': People from the planet Hondo speak English. Trius uses English in broadcasts to the planet, and Kevin speaks English right off the ship.
* The Boov from ''WesternAnimation/{{Home}}'' all speak English, but in a very fractured form.

* Two aliens are sitting in a pub. One of them turns to the other and says, ‘[[StarfishLanguage plububulaBBHAJGGIUI@@#GJKG?]]’ The other one replies, ‘Dude, you are seriously shitfaced.’

* The ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' novel ''Queen of Blades'' (by Aaron Rosenberg) seems to have a bad case of this, with Jim Raynor encountering Zerg Cerebrates and Overlords that speak aloud in English, conveniently letting him eavesdrop. [[spoiler:It turns out he was actually unconsciously hearing their telepathic voices through his latent connection to Kerrigan. Zeratul even comments that the Zerg don't speak any language.]]
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1''
** {{Handwave}}d by the Babelfish, a very small organism that went into your ear and read brainwaves to act as a universal translator.
** Additionally within ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' series, some words and phrases have almost universal phonetic equivalents in every other language, even though the meanings often vary considerably. Examples include:
*** There is, in any society advanced enough to make mixed drinks, a drink that sounds like 'gin and tonic', for instance, and throughout the known universe, our planet is the only one which uses 'Belgium' to mean something other than the most extreme profanity.
*** We're shunned for using the word 'cricket' to refer to a ball game, as the rest of the galaxy still remembers the Krikkit Wars. The equipment used to play cricket on Earth strongly resembles the EarthShatteringKaboom-scale weaponry used in the wars, which is considered by other races to be extremely tactless of us.
*** Additionally, there are phrases such as "I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle" that will occasionally fall through a rip in time-space, and starting an intergalactic war because of its interpretation as a huge threat/insult at an alien conference table.
* Creator/CSLewis averts the trope at the end of ''Out of the Silent Planet'': the academic main character, who has lived with the alien planet's natives and learned some of their language, is recruited by a human CorruptCorporateExecutive to translate a speech full of flowery white-man's-burden rhetoric about why they should let him colonize their planet and take their resources. The main character does his best to render it within the grasp of his basic Alienese and ends up completely exposing the antagonist's agenda without twisting a single word. The main character is a Philologist, and it took him several weeks to come up with a basic understanding of the language. In addition, a bunch of the plot of the next two books hinges on the fact that the main character can now speak Alienese, which it turns out is the universal tongue of everything outside of Earth, including Martians, Venusians, and angels of heaven. This allows him to act as an agent for the interests of Heaven in a way that Satan and his minions never anticipated.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
** The Yeerks are apparently ''teaching* ''various hosts (Hork-Bajir especially) English so they can talk to each other. Their alternatives were Taxxon (good luck pronouncing it without a several-foot tongue), the Hork-Bajir or Gedd languages (too simple), or some other Earth language (pointless as most of their human hosts knew English already). On the whole though this isn't too improbable. Human-Controllers' Yeerks would know English from their hosts' memories, and Hork-Bajir speak a strange mix of [[CommonTongue Galard]] and English ("''Stop that'' gafrash ''shooting'', logafach."). Taxxon-speak is said to be almost impossible to decipher, even for Controllers.
** The free Hork-Bajir likewise speak mostly (crude) English mixed with their native language, but their Seer (who has genius-level intelligence by human standards, even) speaks flawless English - leading a National Guard commander to remark about the "aliens speaking more perfect English than [his] troops." It is also revealed in "Visser" that Hork-Bajir brains actually mangle the different languages together naturally. Which means even when controlled by a Yeerk, the Yeerk will find themselves mixing the languages as well.
** The Andalites are a telepathic species so when they "speak" an English speaking listener hears English and translator chips so they can understand languages spoken to them.
** The Nesk learned English by spying on humans for a short period of time. A character even comments on how weird it is that random aliens speak English.
* In the ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}} Series 2000'' book ''Brain Juice,'' the alien villains, who love talking about [[SuperiorSpecies how much smarter they are than humans]], mock the question of how they speak English--they learned it in an hour before landing on Earth. ''Their'' language has four hundred words just to say "hello!"
* The mi-go in Creator/HPLovecraft's ''Literature/TheWhispererInDarkness'' speak English, but that's because they've been on Earth in secret long enough to learn our languages. And it's mentioned that they need surgical help in order to even produce the sounds necessary for human speech. They communicate with each other by telepathy, as well as bioluminescent colour shifts. They speak by buzzing, which sounds creepy and abnormal even though they can technically get the English sounds just right.
* S.P. Meek apparently thought this was too absurd a trope to use in his 1931 story ''Awlo of Ulm''. Instead, his miniature SerkisFolk spoke [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign (very bad)]] Hawaiian. For no apparent reason and without so much as being {{lampshade|Hanging}}d. If you think that's bad, but keep reading anyways, you're in for a time...
* In ''Literature/SpaceMarineBattles'', this happens from time to time. In ''Purging of Callidus'' the Orks speak perfect Gothic and in ''Fall of Damnos'' the Necrons exploit this to taunt and break the Damnosians.
* In the short story [[http://sfreader.com/contest-2008-1.asp "On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy"]] by Desmond Warzel, the aliens speak perfect English; for at least two of them, however, this is justified, as they've been hiding out in suburban Cleveland and would need to speak English to blend in.
* Lampshaded in a ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfSamuraiCat'' tale. The duo are on an alien ship trying to decipher the controls, and find that they're actually labelled in Japanese. Then they realise that, despite being from 17th century Japan, they were speaking English.
* In Christopher Stasheff's ''Literature/AWizardInRhyme'' series, the OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent protagonist transports himself to the story's alternate universe by deciphering a SummonMagic spell. The problem is, the alternate universe is a [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Fantasy Counterpart Version]] of Medieval Europe, and he explicitly learned their version of French. Then he goes and has adventures with Italians, Germans/Austrians, even ''Muslims'', and yet there is no language barrier. French actually was a widely-used international language for quite a bit of the middle ages. Several of the people he meets are visibly uncomfortable with it as a second language (especially the Arabs), and he occasionally has to fall back on magical translation.
* In the Creator/HBeamPiper short story ''Omnilingual'', a female archaeologist faces the skepticism of her colleagues when she tries to translate the long dead language of Martian, despite the fact that there could be no possible 'Rosetta Stone' (a message with a known language paired with the same message in the unknown language). She finds it anyway when they come across the Periodic Table of Elements in a Martian university.
* Explained in ''Literature/TheRadiantDawn''. The Wutner craft orbiting Earth has been doing so since at least the beginning of the zombie war. The aliens aboard have been listening to us with advanced devices, and as such have decoded our language and developed programming for their universal translators.
* Creator/HarryHarrison:
** Spoofed in ''Literature/StarSmashersOfTheGalaxyRangers''. Every alien race the heroes come across has “listened to your radio broadcasts” and learned fluent English for one reason or another.
** The "listened to radio broadcasts" version is also used in ''Invasion: Earth''. The aliens in question speak fluent English and Russian, having picked up on the most common broadcasts (having come during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar). Later on, when they need to talk without being overheard, the two protagonists (an American soldier and a Russian linguist) switch to Spanish, which the aliens didn't bother to learn.
* In the ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'' series, all the aliens speak Russian, as do fairy tale and fantasy creatures from different countries in TheTimeOfMyths. This is never explained, although Pashka {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it in ''The End of Atlantis'' and presents a convoluted and obviously incorrect theory that the modern Russians are distant descendants of the Atlanteans. Alice calls him on it (However, this was before they learned these were aliens). Also, there is an interstellar CommonTongue (and Alice has [[EternalEnglish no problem understanding]] a [[AncientAstronauts 25 centuries old]] [[HumanPopsicle Alien Popsicle]]), Alice had to learn alien languages at least twice, and SpacePirates seem to have an [[StarfishLanguage all consonant language]]. Hypnotic means to quickly learn languages are mentioned. Such knowledge doesn't stick for long, but most space travellers still use it out of convenience.
* The fairies in ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' rarely interact with humans and only innately understand their own language(s), but they can speak/comprehend any human language perfectly, via [[AWizardDidIt magic]] (they call it the "gift of tongues"). This means that characters who lost their magic by breaking the rules have to learn human languages the usual way.
* ''Literature/IAmNumberFour'' and its sequel ''The Power of Six'' for English and Spanish. {{Justified|Trope}} given that not only have they lived on Earth for ten years, but the Loric race [[AncientAstronauts has had much contact with humankind over the last few millenia]], to the point of procreating with humans and producing exceptionally gifted [[HalfHumanHybrid hybrids]], including the Greek gods, Buddha, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.
* In ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', all intelligent aliens save Chewbacca are rendered as if speaking Basic. Odd considering the verse's fondness for BilingualDialogue. Even Jabba the Hutt speaks Basic - ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'' shows that he ''can'', but normally he doesn't.
* [[Literature/ThePeople Zenna Henderson's "People"]] learn English by immersion, except they read your mind while you're talking, so they have an advantage when they mentally decode your words, then reverse the process when they want to talk. Some are better at it than others, and they can get really garbled when they're flustered. Eliada in "Tell Me A Story" actually comes across as a bit of a FunnyForeigner.
* In Creator/TimothyZahn's own-universe ''Conqueror's Pride'', the alien species interact normally with humans, although the Yycromae speak in what appears to be a telepathic connection rather than conventional speech. The Zhirrzh, which capture Pheylan Cavanagh, have a struggle developing a medium through which to interrogate him and Pheylan sometimes wonders how to convey complicated human concepts, such as his physical need for sunlight, through their limited comprehension of English. Zahn has obviously thought about this trope and tried hard to avert it.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheGodsThemselves'' works around averting this trope too, built around two parallel universes. A human-built energy pump is sucking energy from the other dimension in order to provide Earth with an supply of apparently free energy. The first third of the book revolves around the receipt of an alien message by a journalist, Lamont; he recruits Bronowski, a professor of archaeo-linguistics, to decipher the symbols. In the second part, we see the aliens' side of the exchange. This work also has aliens mastering English through [[spoiler: empathy]].
* The souls from ''Literature/TheHost'' can speak English, but only the ones who've got human hosts, and only because their host would have known it first (assuming that the host ''did'' speak English, of course. The story's set in America, though, so for our purposes it's a moot point).
* In one story in the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' series, one of the humans compliments an alien on how good his English is - only for the alien to [[DeadpanSnarker respond drily]] that the language was invented by his direct ancestors.
* People in dozens of different worlds in ''Literature/SpiderCircus'' speak English. However it's justified because the circus travels to those worlds specifically so the performers can be understood. There's some explanation for why one language is spoken in so many different worlds but it's {{Metaphorgotten}} and we do get a quick glimpse into a world where Latin appears to be the main language.
* In the short story ''Literature/MarkDelewenAndTheSpacePirates'', aliens apparently use Arabic numerals.
* Lampshaded, then justified, in ''Literature/XFarnhamsLegend''. After being knocked across the galaxy by a jumpdrive test GoneHorriblyWrong, Kyle Brennan is surprised beyond belief to be hailed in Japanese by an alien vessel. It turns out later they learned it from a LostColony of humans who have become one of the major powers in these parts; Japanese is now the region's CommonTongue.
* A planet-bound version in ''Literature/PhoenixInShadow'', where the protagonists discover a lost realm in a remote valley that's been cut off from the rest of the world for thousands of years, but everyone in it speaks the same language as the protagonists. The protagonists note how unlikely this is, and it turns out to be a hint that the valley isn't as cut off as most of its inhabitants believe.
* Unexplained in the sequels of ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld''. The wizards from the Discworld, when visiting Earth, can always communicate with the locals -- not just the English-speaking ones, but ancient Greeks just as easily. Given that the author is a keenly aware satirist (Creator/TerryPratchett) together with two others who wrote [[https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/744622.What_Does_A_Martian_Look_Like_ a book]] about how alien real aliens could be, it seems incredible that they would not be aware of the problem; maybe they just chose to ignore it.
* Justified in ''Literature/TheTripods''. Because WeAreAsMayflies to the Masters, it's easier for them to learn the languages spoken by their human slaves, who don't live long anyway due to the [[HeavyWorlder conditions under which they work]].
* Lampshaded repeatedly in the ''Literature/MaureenBirnbaumBarbarianSwordsperson''. Every alien world Maureen visits is filled with English speakers. Maureen is confused by this, but no one has any explanation.
* {{Justified|Trope}} in a wide variety of ways in the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series, where all the various alien races speak Aleran (the language of the human protagonists, presumably some derivative of Latin). The Marut use it as a trade language between their various tribes, the Canim generally don't speak Aleran but their ambassadors learn it because they wish to be able to speak to Alerans, the Icemen are telepathic and therefore don't really need spoken languages, and the Vord use it because the Vord queen was awakened by the blood of an Aleran and absorbed knowledge from him.
* In ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', it is discussed between Lyra and Will, who are both from Oxford, just in different parallel universes. There are slight differences in certain words, though.
** In Cittigazze, which is supposed to be a Mediterranean land on another parallel Earth, the residents still speak English.
** Averted on the Mulefa's parallel Earth. Mary spends some time trying to learn their language. Being elephant-like creatures, part of their language involves movements of the trunk along with words, so she has to use her arms to speak as well. They also learn a little English from her.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Ampata learned the language after all the years that she was toured all over the country.
* Although the later incarnations of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' make [[{{Handwave}} occasional mention]] of "Universal Translators" being built into the uniform commbadges, [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the Original Series]] simply ignored the question of language except in a few rare instances. The handwave doesn't explain the times where communication ''does'' become a problem, or where certain words get left in the original.
** Some episodes of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' do have justified uses due to previous contact with humans.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Darmok" is a brilliant subversion of this and TranslatorMicrobes. The aliens ''are'' speaking English, in a way, but [[StrangeSyntaxSpeaker their language is metaphorical rather than indicative]], full of seemingly unrelated references to historical events and battles, and is impossible to understand without the proper cultural background. It has been joked that they are a planet of [[JustForFun/TVTropesWillRuinYourVocabulary tropers]].
** An unusual Star Trek Next Gen example features an alien, deaf interplanetary conflict mediator/peacemaker who reads lips but has a chorus of interpreters who speak for him. When without his chorus, he uses what is clearly American sign language though it is implied to another form of gestural language native to his planet. Fridge Logic comes in when you realize that whatever universal translators they use wouldn't change the shape people's mouths are making, so how is he reading lips in languages he has never learned?
** The issue of different words/inflections/etc came up in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. When analyzing a conversation between Weyoun and Sisko about a peace treaty, they remove the automatic translation to discover a key point in his delivery that the English translation glosses over.
** Not handwaved in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', because Hoshi was there to serve as a translator. The times she wasn't essential were usually when they met advanced species that likely had their own version of a universal translator.
** ''Series/StarTrekDiscovery'' has scenes with the Klingons speaking in the Klingon language and subtitled at the bottom. They're not heard "speaking" English" until the final episode of the first "chapter" when a Starfleet crew-member who has boarded one of their ships eavesdrops on them and has a universal translator.
* As noted in David J. Schow's book on ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'', there's only one episode of the original series ("The Zanti Misfits") in which the aliens ''don't'' speak English, although various episodes justified this with different {{handwave}}s.
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'': In the episode "Trial By Fire", alien ships are approaching Earth, only to send a video transmission with garbled language. Tension grows and at the climax, the U.S. President decides to launch nuclear weapons at the aliens, to no effect. The aliens launch extremely directed weapons to kill just the U.S. and Soviet leaders, just as translators reveal the transmission was in English, but underwater (since 70% of the Earth is water). The message was the President's very campaign promise "We come in peace and brotherly understanding." [[CruelTwistEnding The President says "At least the nation will survive," as the weapons hit.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** It gets around this one by having the Doctor being able to mentally translate for his companions, who rarely thought anything odd about the fact they understood them. One of the Doctor's earlier companions did ask him once, but they were interrupted before he could answer and it was never brought up again. In the revival of the show that began in 2005, the translation is mentioned on more than one occasion to be performed by the Doctor's vehicle, the TARDIS, which is telepathically linked to the Doctor to the point that when he is unconscious, the translation fails. This became a plot point in the 2005 Christmas special, where an alien speech slowly turns into understandable English, [[spoiler: indicating that the Doctor is back in action and ready to deliver the smackdown]].
** It often plays the trope straight, however, when aliens invade Earth. The series four finale features [[spoiler: Daleks that speak ([[BlindIdiotTranslation bad]]) German when they invade Germany. Exterminieren! Exterminieren!]]
** Parodied in "Rose", where Rose isn't so much fazed by the Doctor speaking English, but by his very distinct Northern accent.
--> '''Rose''': If you're an alien, how comes you sound like you're from [[OopNorth the North?]]\\
'''Doctor''': ''(defensively)'' Lots of planets have a North!
** At one point in the original series, it's stated that the translation is supposed to be unnoticeable. The fact that Sarah Jane Smith stops to wonder why she can understand Italian is evidence to the Doctor that something is wrong.
* The 456 in ''Series/TorchwoodChildrenOfEarth'' speak actual English through all of Earth's children, even in places like Taiwan. The characters make note of it and it has a certain significance. [[spoiler: Along with the hour at which they choose to speak, it indicates that the 456 are addressing Great Britain, with which they've already had secret dealings.]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** There are aliens, diaspora humans, and beings from other galaxies speaking English. The issue of learning the local language served as something of padding in the movie on which the series is based, so this might actually be a case of TranslationConvention, since the team members can be reasonably expected to be familiar with the common galactic languages (especially as most of them are dialects of Coptic or Latin). It was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the novelization of the pilot episode "Children of the Gods", but that was more of OneshotRevisionism.
** Openly {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the "Wormhole X-Treme!" episode. Two of the crew get into an argument over whether they should have the off-world food be alien in appearance. When one demands whether the viewers will willingly suspend their disbelief in seeing a normal apple on an alien world, the other retorts it's not half-as-bad as all of the aliens speaking English.
** [[http://www.nelsonguirado.com/index.php/comiendo/2006/12/14/sci_fi_apologist_stargate_english_joke_s According to leading linguistic experts]], a population isolated from any other human group will eventually develop a language similar to English and speak it with a Canadian accent.
** Worse yet, the Tau'ri (as the humans of Earth are called) are practically the only humans in the universe exhibiting multiple languages - it's harder to understand the Russians than the humans from another galaxy who didn't even have ancestors on Earth!
** Lampshaded in the season 10 episode ''The Pegasus Project''. [=SG1=], and Daniel, finally make it to [[Series/StargateAtlantis Atlantis]] in part of their search for a way to stop the Ori in the Milky Way. They've previously gotten a clue in 2 planet names but have no gate addresses, so Daniel is using a holographic interface to Atlantis's database to try and find them. He's using a long round about search because the names are in Medieval English, a language spoken thousands of years after the Ancients abandoned Atlantis. When Vala becomes tired of the long search and tells him "just ask her (the hologram)" and it instantly returns an answer it's a clue that something more is going on.[[note]]The hologram is actually an Ancient, Morgan [=LeFea=], who is trying to help them without breaking the ascended's no interference law.[[/note]]
---> '''Daniel:''' [sarcastically pandering] Hello, we're looking for the names of two planets know on Earth in ancient times in the dialect of Old English as Castiana and Sahal.
---> '''Hologram:''' Taoth Vaclarush and Valos Cor.
---> [...]
---> '''Vala:''' She told us the name of the planets. There were right up there glowing in the ceiling. She even gave us the addresses, which means we could be out there somewhere overlooking Atlantis, toasting with exotic beverages!
---> [...]
---> '''Daniel:''' It shouldn't have worked. [...] Explain this to me: how can this database translate in real time a language spoken eight thousand years after the Ancients abandoned Atlantis?
---> '''Vala:''' That's a tough one.
* Becomes particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', when they go on their very first off-world mission ''without a linguist'', and suddenly everyone in the Pegasus Galaxy turns out to speak English there too. And most that includes the holograms and flashbacks of the Ancients - yes, the very same Ancients whose ''specific not-even-remotely-English'' language has been heard and seen written down all across the span of the previous series. Especially noticeable with the characters of Teyla and Ronon Dex, as while both are "human", they both come from other planets in other galaxies and yet apparently can speak and understand English without any problem.
** Ronon Dex can speak English, despite being born 3 million lightyears from Earth. [[Series/GameOfThrones Khal Drogo]] doesn't speak the same language as the people he's separated from by a Narrow Sea.
* Mostly averted thus far in ''Series/StargateUniverse''. The entire ship, control panels and all, is nothing but Ancient writing, and the one alien species they've come across thus far is apparently incapable of speaking English. They can still write English, but that's justified since they {{Mind Probe}}d Rush beforehand and probably got the basics.
* ''Series/{{Crusade}}'', the [[ScrewedByTheNetwork short-lived]] sequel series to ''Babylon 5'', played with this trope in its {{homage}} episode to ''Series/TheXFiles'', "Visitors From Down The Street". After rescuing a pair of aliens of a previously-unknown race who unexpectedly speak English, the Excalibur is hailed by an alien ship -- again in English. Captain Gideon comments sarcastically that either they're the same race as the others, or there's a busy English teacher running around that part of the galaxy.
* In the miniseries (and series) ''Series/{{V|1983}}'', this is {{justified|Trope}} in that, since the aliens are trying to indoctrinate themselves into human culture, they must speak the local language at all times. Including poor Willie, who was meant to go to the Middle East and thus had learned Arabic, but ended up in the U.S. due to a bureaucratic bungle and was forced to stumble through English on short notice. The [[Series/{{V 2009}} 2009 reboot]] solves this problem in two ways. First it shows the Visitors using some sort of universal translator, as in their introduction when their leader Anna's address is seen being broadcast across the entire planet and can be audibly heard in the local language of wherever its being seen. Also, [[spoiler:Visitor sleeper agents have been living on Earth for decades prior to the arrival of Anna's fleet in order to gather intelligence on humanity and learn Earth's languages in preparation for the arrival]].
* The various screen adaptations of ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'' all feature the Mongonians speaking flawless English, with no explanation as to why. The [[Series/FlashGordon2007 2007 series]] {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it, but still doesn't explain. The novelization of the [[Film/FlashGordon1980 1980s film]] explains that Ming, not wanting to waste countless hours teaching his prisoners the language, had the knowledge beamed into their brains while they were transported to Mongo.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' handwaves the issue with TranslatorMicrobes. These enable characters from different cultures to understand each other with ease, including the human Crichton. Notably, some of Crichton's sayings (such as "fed up") don't translate properly, leading to some confusion. According to the series (though this is sometimes forgotten; see below), anyone that has translator microbes can understand anyone else - whether or not they have them. (In "Self-Inflicted Wounds", the crew encounter the Pathfinders, who have never made contact with the other species. The crew understands them perfectly, but before one of the Pathfinders is injected with translator microbes, none of them understand "the differing voices.")
** In season 4, Aeryn actually tries to learn English in case they ever get back to Earth and makes some progress. There are also a couple instances where the others try to speak in human phrases, though it understandably proves difficult. [[spoiler: When the crew actually do make it to Earth in "Terra Firma", some humans - including Crichton's family - understand them, suggesting or showing that they have gotten translator microbes to better talk to them.]]
** It becomes a problem in "Constellation of Doubt," though, when [[spoiler:the whole crew is shown to be speaking English in the TV documentary. The premise assumes that the entire viewing audience would have received translator microbes; otherwise the documentary should have been subtitled]].
** In "I, E.T.", the crew crashes on a planet that has never had interplanetary contact. Crichton is able to understand them (which works), but the inhabitants understand him (which shouldn't and isn't really explained).
** Recurring character Sikozu, however, actually does speak English (or whichever language is necessary at the time). According to her, her species can't tolerate translator microbes, but can learn other languages if spoken to after sufficient time.
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'': Duncan finds and unwraps the mummy of Nefertiri, who has been in a coma for 2000 years after committing suicide over the body of her queen, Cleopatra. As she is unwrapped, she wakes up, opens her eyes, and asks, ''in English'', "WhatYearIsThis" While it's ''possible'' that that scene is TranslationConvention, since Duncan and Nefertiri might speak a common language such as Latin, later on Nefertiri has no difficulty holding a conversation with a normal, non-Immortal woman.
* Most {{Toku}}satsu has this trope all over the place, including the ''Franchise/UltraSeries'', ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/KamenRider''.
** Averted in ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', where the Grongi, a human offshoot, speak their own incomprehensible language.[[note]]Meta-wise, it's actually a CypherLanguage for Japanese (with a few exceptions), allowing in-the-know viewers to learn about various plot-sensitive concepts and events before they're actually "revealed".[[/note]]
** The same happened in ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'' in which the majority of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Undead]] couldn't speak Japanese (or any other human language for that matter). Instead, they spoke in gibberish.
** ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' had this happen with the Over Lord Inves as well. They speak their own unique language, which was eventually subtitled into Japanese.[[note]]The closed captioning track in Japan gave the original "Overlordese" captioning, allowing fans to decipher their language as being a CypherLanguage with Japanese as well, but much more complicated than the Grongi-to-Japanese cypher.[[/note]] At one point, one finds a Japanese dictionary left behind by a human research team and he has some difficulty in speaking Japanese to the human characters, but later they all seem to become fluent.
** ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' (and naturally its English counterpart ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' as well) averts this for once by having one [[MonsterOfTheWeek Alienizer]] who couldn't speak the local language without a translator device. The Alienizer was also a body switcher, switched bodies with the Blue Ranger and destroyed the translator device. So the Blue Ranger, in the body of a wanted criminal, had to prove to his friends that his own body was used by the criminal, while not being able to communicate normally. The majority of the other aliens speak perfect Japanese/English.
** Actually not the first case of Alien speaking gibberish in Power Rangers. Remember Lunatick (from the ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' episode where Zhane woke up.) He spoke an unknown alien language. Then there was Bookala (from ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' Season 2), who learned English by repeating the words.
** Almost lampshaded in ''Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger'': The ''Parasaurolopus'' Bakuryuu, having travelled from its native Dino-Earth to our Earth, ends up in South America and must swim to [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Japan]] where the others are. When he arrives he speaks perfect Japanese, but with the occasional "amigo" and the like thrown in for gags.
** {{Justified|Trope}} in ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' and the like since they are HumanAliens.
** The ''Franchise/UltraSeries'' plays with this unclearly. While the audience hears the Ultras speaking Japanese and their host can understand them, they rarely ever speak while transformed (except [[{{Kiai}} their characteristic shouts]]) and even when they do talk, it's normally to each other and on occasion humans watching simply won't hear what they're saying.
*** In ''Series/UltramanMax'', the rest of DASH asks Kaito if he "understands their language" after he explains what Max and his superior Xenon were talking about, implying humans didn't understand the conversation. But in ''Film/MegaMonsterBattleUltraGalaxyLegends'', Ultraman Belial speaks to [[Series/UltraGalaxyMegaMonsterBattle Rei]], who is a human, and Rei himself clearly understands him. Apparently, the Ultras communicate telepathically.
*** On the other hand, all the non-Ultra aliens encountered by the heroes are capable of speaking fluent Japanese. There have been a few exceptions though, notably the Gigi from ''Series/UltramanCosmos'', who had to wear {{Translator Collar}}s to speak Japanese and otherwise spoke in PokemonSpeak.
*** Even then, there's some confusion. In the original ''Series/{{Ultraman}}'', the Baltans had to take over the bodies of humans to speak Japanese in their first appearance, but in their second appearance and all later ones, this is never a problem. On the other hand, the Mijirs from ''Series/UltramanDyna'' were able to speak Japanese when in their human disguises, but could only make gibbering noises in their true forms (perhaps their vocal cords change upon disguising?).
* In ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'', everybody in the universe speaks perfect English with no explanation. In this series NOTHING is ever explained.
* On ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'', the aliens seem to be fluent in all Earth languages. In one episode, Harry turned on a Hispanic channel and all the Solomons started conversing in Spanish until they realized it wasn't the dominant language in Ohio. In another episode, Dick tested Tommy's intelligence by asking him questions in various languages.
* ''Series/LostInSpace'': In "The Keeper", The Keeper speaks English, and explains that he has monitored their radio transmissions and has a limited form of telepathy to help him understand the language. It is odd that he would go out of the way to explain this, as the Robinsons didn't ask him how he could speak, probably because it wasn't the first time they encountered an English speaking alien without explanation.
* The aliens who came to steal Jerry's milkshake machine in the ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' episode "Wizard for a Day" seem to have an excellent command of American English, {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by the fact that they have no use for Justin and Zeke's "[[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign alien language]]".
* With a case of demons speaking English, in ''Series/{{Angel}}'' the inhabitants of the demon dimension Pylea speak English and communicate with dimensional travellers without problem, but their books are still written in strange demonic tongue that takes effort from a person familiar with the dialect to translate.
* In the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Alf}}'', Willie's radio intercepts ALF's spaceship and then ALF's voice comes out, but he appears to be speaking a different language. Then, when ALF is brought into the house, he not only speaks English, but he speaks English fluently, tells pop culture jokes and apparently, so do other Melmacians. Also, anytime that we see a book from Melmac, it is in English. How contradictory!
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': Xena travels to Rome, Brittania, Africa, India, China, and Japan, yet never runs into language barriers.
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'': Hercules travels to places like Sumer and Ireland without any language problems. Unlike Xena, though, Herc is a demigod.
* In ''Series/{{Galactica 1980}}'', the crew of the Galactica discusses a difference in languages, but Galactica 1980 and its predecessor ''Battlestar Galactica'' had characters speaking English with a few words and terms thrown in for flavor. However, the actors on the show did seem to have a problem with the word "starboard," putting the emphasis on "board."
* Every Orkan alien from ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' seems to speak English.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Hyperdrive}}'': "Now, according to the file, their language is amazingly similar to english, which is jolly helpful..."
* In ''Series/{{Lexx}}'', no one ever had a problem understanding one another, even when they were from two different universes. This comes into question when the Lexx reaches Earth and Kai, the undead assassin wants to read a newspaper, so he asks a boy to start reading some of it for him. The boy says, "fifty cents," and Kai informs the boy that Kai can now read the rest without help.
* Justified with ''Series/{{Defiance}}'''s Votan population as they're trying to integrate into a mostly human society. Though they do often speak their own languages as well.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Shows up quite often, though it's usually justified in some way.
** English is stated to be "the human language of commerce", which explains why most people in a major hub of trade and diplomacy can speak or at least understand it.
** WordOfGod is that TranslationConvention is usually in effect whenever you have members of a certain species conversing with others of their own race.
** English was one of several languages Delenn had to learn for her role as ambassador. ''In the Beginning'' shows that she had been studying humans since before the Earth-Minbari War.
** The Soul Hunter claims he has been to Earth before.
** The aliens in the second part of "Voice in the Wilderness" download the station's language files, though they speak with a very thick accent. The alien captain [[AcCENTUponTheWrongSylLABle appears to be]] reading it out phonetically.
** The Walkers of Sigma-957 initially don't speak English, though they clearly understand it. They do leave with a message in English. Being [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien First Ones]], they probably can speak any language of the younger races.
-->'''Ivanova''': At least that tells us they understand our language, they're just not willing to speak to us in it.\\
'''Marcus''': Who knew they were French?
* When the ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' encounter new cultures, often there will be a language barrier. This is lampshaded by having the characters actually speak Old Norse (Vikings), Old English (in England) and Frankish (in France). Eventually a translator will turn up who speaks both languages, and then one or both parties will begin speaking modern English for the benefit of the viewer.
* ''Series/MockTheWeek'', ''Scenes We'd Like To See'', Lines You Wouldn't Hear in A Sci-Fi Film:
-->'''Hugh Dennis''': Yes, we aliens learned English by [[AliensStealCable listening to your radio broadcasts!]]
* ''Series/PeopleOfEarth'': For all of the aliens shown so far.
* In ''Series/EmeraldCity'', the Ozians have languages of their own, but some of them also speak English, which also seems to be the official language spoken in the Wizard's domain. This is how the dog gets its name. "Toto" is the Tribes' word for "dog", and Dorothy decides it's as good a name as any, since she hasn't had a chance to find out the dog's real name from the cop.
* ''Series/TheOrville'': All of the aliens speak English. This is justified somewhat when it's those in Union service. Even those on their own planet do as well though.

* ''Pinball/AttackFromMars'' and ''Pinball/RevengeFromMars'' have Martians speaking English.

* ''Radio/WelcomeToOurVillagePleaseInvadeCarefully'' had the two main alien characters speaking English (having learned it), but the EvilMinions only speaking in their own alienese.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Possibly justified in 4E ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', by the shardminds. The reason they can speak any language is most likely that they access the creatures memories, copy the language, and speak with it. Frankly, it makes sense.
* ''TabletopGame/FengShui'''s GM section notes that just like in Hong Kong movies, everyone in the setting speaks perfect contemporary Cantonese, from Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs to the Prime Minister of Belgium to the bio-engineered abominations of the future -- and in your games, everything's being translated into English, including the puns. Screw realism.
* Inverted in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. No-one speaks English, not even the humans of the setting. Xenos races speak [[IndoEuropeanAlienLanguage their]] [[StarfishLanguage own]] languages, and humans of the Imperium speak [[AltumVidetur High or Low Gothic]].
** Played straight in pretty much every 40k video game, though.
** Also played with by the Tau. They have [[IndoEuropeanAlienLanguage their own language]], but the Fire Caste (soldiers) have [[NeuralImplanting chips in their brains]] that let them understand the basics of several other languages, Low Gothic included. The Water Caste (politicians) are also genetically engineered and specially trained to speak other languages flawlessly, right down to the body language.
** Played with by the Orks as well. Many Ork words are loan words from Imperial Gothic. For example, "shoota" is an Ork word for any kind of gun, and "choppa" is the word for any kind of edged weapon. The Ork language is written in the form of ideogramic characters, however.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', most alien races on Earth were transported there by accident generations ago, and speak English [[note]]or American, as it's called in the main setting[[/note]] as their first language, making this a JustifiedTrope. Played wholly straight in the ''ThreeGalaxies'' setting, where the language Trade Four is so close to English that a Native English speaker can also speak Trade Four at about 50% proficiency. This is used as a hint that the Humans of the Three Galaxies come from some version of Earth.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* ''Ride/ETAdventure'', depicts ''all'' of the Green Planet's inhabitants speaking English, which is rather odd considering how E.T. had to learn how to speak English in the movie.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is first averted in ''VideoGame/TheDig'': A group of astronauts are stranded on a deserted alien planet, when the protagonist first encounters an alien he doesn't understand a thing the alien speaks, until he brings a companion (who has been studying the alien's language in a "library") and she is able to successfully communicate with him (the dialog is heard in English via TranslationConvention), later [[spoiler: this is completely played straight when the protagonist ascends to the dimension in which the rest of the aliens are trapped, the alien leader tells him that in that plane of existence all minds communicate perfectly, then the aliens return to the real world and their leader speaks and thanks him in perfect English implying he learned the language by that "perfect communication".]]
* Either this or some form of {{Translator Microbe|s}} is in effect in VideoGame/ArtemisSpaceshipBridgeSimulator. When you can draw the aggro of an enemy ship by saying that, and I quote, their [[YourMom "Maternal leader wears combat boots,"]] some form of translation is likely in effect.
* In ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'', the player character Joanna Dark is accompanied several times by an alien. Called Elvis. Who wears a vest with the stars and stripes on it. On Elvis' first (conscious) appearance, Joanna exclaims "You... You speak our language!"
** Elvis, as you can probably guess from the name, [[AllThereInTheManual a big fan of Earth culture]] and he's also a soldier who was sent to Earth to aid the Carrington Institute so he'd need to know the language of its founder.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue}} II'' has Ryo Hazuki travelling to Hong Kong and China. Apparently everyone there speaks Japanese (or English in the dub), even Shenhua, who's from a remote village. The game was originally planned to use different languages but this idea was dropped long before release.
* In most of the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games, the Covenant's Grunts, Brutes, Elites, and Prophets all speak English. In some games, like ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', they even speak it when there are no humans around, which is obviously a case of TranslationConvention. In ''Literature/HaloFirstStrike'', this is explained as due to [[TranslatorMicrobes standardized UNSC translation technology]]. ''VideoGame/HaloWars'' also states in the Timeline that large numbers of Covenant soldiers are taught to understand human languages. It's noted in the ExpandedUniverse that Grunts are especially adept at learning new languages, despite being otherwise not all that intelligent, which sort of justifies them speaking English (in the [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved first game]], they were in fact the only Covenant race that spoke English).
** Also referenced in ''Literature/HaloGlasslands'', which notes that the Elites, despite having four mandibles instead of a lower jaw, can approximate some human languages by moving their lower mandibles together like a jaw. Humans have a similarly tough time pronouncing Sangheili properly, though at least one human is shown as somewhat capable in the language. Neither are without faults, however: Elites cannot (or at least have extreme difficulty) pronouncing anything involving their non-existent lips, and one fluent human is described as speaking like an "idiot child".
** Averted by ''VideoGame/HaloReach''. Every Covenant race only speaks their native language. This is lampshaded and parodied by a sleeping Grunt on "Nightfall" who says "It's funny, but I dream in English".
** This aversion continues in ''{{VideoGame/Halo 4}}''; MissionControl will only translate for the player whenever they feel they need to, and Covenant dialogue is subtitled during cutscenes. There's even a scene in ''Spartan Ops'' where [[BigBad Jul 'Mdama]] has to actively switch to heavily-accented English in order for his human captive to understand his questions. It should be noted than when speaking Sangheili, 'Mdama is pretty [[EloquentInMyNativeTongue eloquent, given the subtitles, but in English he doesn't even speak complete sentences.]]
** ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'', however, not only has the Elites and Grunts return to speaking English, but adds Jackals to the list as well, despite them having only spoken their own language in all the previous games.
** The [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]] and their [=AIs=] can also speak English, though this is explained as them having much more advanced translation capabilities than both humanity and the Covenant.
** This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Literature/HaloBrokenCircle'', although the language in question wasn't English, but Sangheili; apparently, the San'Shyuum overcame the language barrier between their species by building translators...that were made after [[ColdBloodedTorture by torturing and interrogating captured Sangheili]] during the war. The protagonist Prophet Mken notes [[{{Understatement}} it might not have been the best way to learn a new language]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Outcast}}'', the hero finds himself thrust into an alien world on a Bronze Age - level. He has no trouble communicating with the natives, who also have their own language used when not communicating directly with the hero, and never stops to wonder at this, being more bothered re: aliens, the existence of, local evil empire, the overthrowing of. [[spoiler:The player is encouraged to accept this as a [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality necessary break from reality]], until it turns out that there are no TranslatorMicrobes - the aliens have all been speaking proper English. The hero meets a scientist from the same world-thrusting expedition, who {{lampshade|Hanging}}ls the matter only to be told that the empire instituted the use of the shadowy BigBad's language. Dun dun DUNNN!]]
* Inconsistent in the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series, or at least the games where Samus interacts with anyone. On the one hand, Space Pirates and Luminoth speak in unintelligible growls and so forth, and Chozo runes need to be translated. On the other, the three non-human Hunters in ''Metroid Prime 3'' all have English voice-acting, and the Pirates are veritable chatterboxes in the manga. ''Prime 2'' implies it's due to Samus carrying a universal translator.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother}}'':
** This applies at the end of ''VideoGame/EarthBoundBeginnings'', when the BigBad [[spoiler: Giygas]] offers the hero Ninten a place on his mothership. Justified in that he was raised by humans who were originally from [[{{Eagleland}} a small town in rural America]].
** It also goes for the fangame ''[[VideoGame/CognitiveDissonance Mother: Cognitive Dissonance]]'' when the alien party you play as visits Earth, having to talk to civilians, store clerks and the [[spoiler: Pigmask]] members and they understand you.
** ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'' gets in on this too, with Buzz Buzz, various Starmen and a [[spoiler: Department Store]] Mook talking to Ness.
* Done rather oddly in the video game, ''VideoGame/HeartOfDarkness''. The cheerful Amigos can speak English, but it appears their primary language is actually Spanish.
* ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}}'s''' Helghast speak English with a British accent while the Humans from the ISA speak it with an American one. Probably justified in that the Helghast are an offshoot species of humanity created when humans (likely from an Anglophone company or region) adapted to the planet. Lampshaded by the Big Bad's attempts at "language reform," which succeeds in changing the alphabet but eventually falls short of changing the spoken language due to "logistical difficulties."
* All of the alien races in the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' games speak English. Normally, one would be able to pass this off as TranslationConvention, except when humans and aliens (especially Orks, who probably wouldn't bother to learn any other race's language) talk to each other.
** It's all Translation Convention. Even the Imperial forces aren't speaking English, they're speaking Low Gothic. The Latin bits are High Gothic, which are said to be effectively the same relationship to us as Latin/English today. That being, some similarities between Gothic and English, but not much you could really catch at first glance.
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven 2'' has plenty of aliens who all speak perfect Japanese. This later turns out to be because [[spoiler:they're actually native Japanese humans under the influence of the Aliea meteorite's power.]]
* Every alien race in ''VideoGame/DarkstarOne'' speaks English. WordOfGod states that the reason behind this is because English was established as the standard spoken language in the galaxy.
* The 4 main alien races in the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' all speak Japanese. TranslationConvention makes them all speak English or whatever language the user set the game to use.
* In the first two ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'' games, only one orc is able to speak human language (and only because he was a human slave). In Gothic 3 all orcs suddenly are able to speak human language.
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'':
** The Protoss are telepaths; presumably the (Terran) listener hears in whatever language they know. Note, however, that they ''do'' have a language of sorts, that can be both written and telepathically "vocalized".
** The Zerg, being a hive-mind, has no need for language. Only the rare sentient Infested Terrans have been known to occasionally communicate with other species.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/StardewValley''. The Dwarves, which are also very ''[[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame atypical]]'' Dwarves, are revealed to be a race of aliens, and they do '''not''' speak English. There is a considerable [[LanguageBarrier language barrier]] between the player character and the Dwarf you meet in-game. In order to understand them, you have to get all four Dwarf Scrolls and donate them to the museum for a Dwarvish Translation Guide.
* ''Videogame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has a few particularly blatant examples.
** Draenei who had recently crashed on Azeroth and never encountered any of the local races still understand Common enough to communicate with humans, night elves, and dwarves before even leaving their starting zone.
** Pandaren from the Wandering Isle seem to have no problems speaking both Common and Orcish when encountering the Alliance and Horde for the first time.
** Every race from Pandaria apparently speaks fluent Common/Orcish (except [[PardonMyKlingon Hozen]]) despite the continent having been closed off from the rest of Azeroth for 10,000 years, presumably longer than those languages have existed.
* The alien language in the original ''VideoGame/ChibiRobo'' is just English, but spoken very, very quietly. Once Chibi-Robo gets an upgrade called the "Alien Ear Piece," he can understand them just fine.
* The aliens in ''[[VideoGame/FranksAdventure Frank's Adventure 3]]'' can for whatever reason speak fluent English.
* In ''VideoGame/XCOM2'' all ADVENT enemies are speaking their own language, even more, in random conversation Lily Shen mentions seeing some old documents written in English and how she's unable to read them, meaning that all people born after the invasion are taught alien language. Also, in the final mission, Commander's avatar talks like ADVENT.
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101''. Delivering a challenge to you, the alien Prince Vorkken carves the words "I WAIT ON TOP, FROM PRINCE VORKKEN" in plain English onto a cliff face. Your ally of the same species, Immorta, "translates" the writing as "I wait at the summit. Signed, Prince Vorkken," and comments that it's written in Rhulloian.

* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', some aliens (like the ones who invade the North Pole) have their own language (represented in the strip by truly bizarre symbols in their speech balloons). However, the series also features Aylee, who was speaking English mere hours after first bursting out of someone's chest. Perhaps because she came from a dimension explicitly based on Sci Fi stereotypes, which this trope certainly qualifies as.
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' wholeheartedly admits they speak English; specifically, they speak [[CommonTongue GET (Galactic English Terth)]], which is about as different from Modern English the same way there's a distinct difference between Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew. However, in the same breath they admit GET is mostly a business/high-class language; part of the reason the show only does an hour a week of live broadcast is because translating and reformatting the program for so many different planets takes up so many resources that they can't afford to do them on the fly all the time. (The 'between shows' broadcasts are translated / parsed at relative leisure.)
** All of the criminals featured so far can also speak GET, so it can't be ''too'' uncommon... then again, anyone who couldn't get past the interview process for being unable to speak the same language as everyone else wouldn't be on the show anyway.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' by Officer Zodboink, who speaks multiple Earth languages but can't keep them straight, e.g. "Hasta la wiedersehen!"
* {{Handwave}}d in ''StickManStickMan'' with a [[http://qntm.org/files/stickmanstickman/comics.php?n=935 half-plausible technobabble explanation]]. Miracles of modern technology!
* According to [[Webcomic/DragonTails Norman]], aliens would probably speak with a slight French inflection. "We come in le peace!"
* There are multiple galactic languages in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', but English still makes the short list. At one point ''[[TalkingIsAFreeAction mid battle]]'' a gatekeeper stops to correct a mercenary's English, and complains if humans are going to force this godawful trade language on other races they should at least be good at it. He gets KilledMidSentence. It's not technically English--it's Galstandard West, which is the common galactic language corrupted by English. However, most English puns [[ContrivedCoincidence conveniently]] work in Galstandard West as well. This is shamelessly lampshaded both by the narrator and the author in his occasional [[TheRant rants]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', Sam Starfall speaks English just fine, possibly learning it from the human scientists that discovered he had stowed away on their ship. (After all, he can't con somebody unles he can speak their language!)
* Depends on the situation in ''Webcomic/TheCyantianChronicles'' by the same author as Alien Dice. On their homeworld most Cyantians speak their native languages but at the Mars Academy everyone is required to speak English. There are also a couple Cyantians who were raised on earth and speak English as a first language, most notably Darrik who has a [[FunetikAksent slight Cajun accent]].
** In another comic by the same author, two characters from the main series, Chatin and Cilke, are trapped on Earth and discovered by a linguist major, who discovers that they're speaking modified latin. It's revealed that [[spoiler: all the [[PettingZooPeople anthropomorphic animals]] are genetically engineered from human slaves by ancient aliens some two thousand years prior. All Cyantian languages are descended from Latin]].
* In ''Webcomic/AlienDice'' English is actually a dialect of Galactic Standard introduced by a bunch of Rishan (genetically engineered human slaves) who looked fairly baseline and were dumped on Earth after their species was freed.
* The trolls from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' - who aren't just from another planet but a different universe entirely - have no problem speaking to the human protagonists. Handwaved in canon, though, since [[spoiler: they were responsible for the creation of our universe and their influence can be seen in this and many other circumstantial similarities (for example, the troll players' names and sigils became our classical zodiac). It's not really a matter of "Trolls speaking English" so much as "[[InvertedTrope Humans speaking Alternian]]"]].
* Justified in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Uryuoms have the ability to learn (or teach) any language by rubbing their antennae on a person's forehead (or presumably anywhere close to their brain) for about three seconds. They can only do this kind of thing with languages though.
* Explained in ''Webcomic/{{Jix}}'' that the Ambis (the alien of the strip) has a device that can download languages into the user's mind. Their androids, on the other hand, can learn a language if they hear enough of it.
* In ''The Accidental Space Spy'', when the human character asks "How come all aliens are speaking English?", they explain that the someone [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/thorsby/spacespy/series.php?view=archive&chapter=48599#193466 hid mind control devices on a lot of planets]], which gradually turn one of the planet's languages into Vricaltian. The culprit? [[spoiler: The Vricaltian Tourist Agency. To make it easier for tourists.]]
* On the planet in ''Webcomic/VerloreGeleentheid'' Afrikaans is evidently the dominant language (some English is spoken too). But considering it's somehow identical to South Africa in every way save for [[SchizoTech some]] of the technology and the fact that the inhabitants aren't human that is to be expected.
* In ''Webcomic/WintersInLavelle'', all of the humans in Lavelle (so far) speak English. However, it's averted with the Gard, a species of (rather violent, it seems) half-deer men. They all speak Gardish, and the only one shown to be able to speak English so far is Xan- though his grasp on it is [[StrangeSyntaxSpeaker rather]] [[EloquentInMyNativeTongue tenuous.]]
* Lampshaded in an ''Webcomic/AwkwardZombie'' strip about ''Franchise/MassEffect''. All of the advanced technology and mental powers in the setting are made possible by mass effect technology. How does everyone speak English? A wizard did it.
* ''Webcomic/{{Tripp}}'' is able to understand the Amazons because of a translator device put in his ear.
* Most of the aliens in ''Webcomic/LuminaryChildren'' are able to speak English without problems.
* Averted in ''Webcomic/{{Unity}}'' - not only do most of the characters not understand English (aside from the rare Oracle), but within the ship there are several different languages, represented by different colors for POV characters which can understand them and garbled fonts for those who cannot. All writing is conveyed in its actual script, as well. The "fact" the comic is being "translated" into English is lampshaded in several strips' popup text, as well.
* Played straight in ''Webcomic/CaptainUfo''. Only one race so far was shown to use a different language, all the others speak English (without any reference to universal translators to boot).
* In ''Webcomic/ReversedStar'', various alien species are shown to have their own languages, but most speak English for the sake of the plot.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Discussed in ''Website/{{Cracked}}'', which calls this [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18721_the-5-stupidest-ways-movies-deal-with-foreign-languages_p2.html The 2nd Stupidest Way Movies Deal with Foreign Languages]].
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', [[spoiler: Scion]] can speak and understand every language on Earth, although he [[TheQuietOne only speaks on extremely rare occasions]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since [[spoiler: he is the source of many of the story's superpowers; his ability to speak human languages is literally supernatural]].
* Subverted in ''Literature/JunctionPoint''. While Rudak chooses to learn a human language (as humans can't make certain vocalizations in his tongue), he decides on Mandarin instead of English.
** Later played straight by Diplomat, who can speak all human languages. [[spoiler: Or, at least, the ones he managed to pick up via radio eavesdropping.]]
* Semi-averted in ''Literature/BeyondTheImpossible'': people from other planets do speak in English, but with the Greek alphabet to distinguish them (it’s treated like a different language though). Demon talk is spelled with Arabic font but it’s unintelligible.
* In Team Four Star's ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'', Nail and "Little Green" (Dende) converse in Namekian until Nail realizes that Dende brought Krillin with him.
-->'''Nail''': ''(in Namekian)'' It seems then that we must speak in the Universal language. ''(in English)'' English.
* ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosHeroesOfTheStars'': Unlike in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'', the Shroobs speak perfect English.
* In ''Literature/JusticeSquad'', one gathering of aliens is revealed to have adopted an Earth language due to it being so primitive that every advanced alien species is able to translate to and from it...but the language is German instead of English. English is still known, but used more for backroom deals, and only known by the less rule-abiding species.
* Zigzagged in ''VideoGame/MoshiMonsters'': There's an alien species called Zoshlings and, while the gibberish they speak is different from the gibberish other monsters speak, they can understand each other perfectly.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Parodied in the first ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E3TreehouseOfHorror Treehouse of Horror]]." After the family expresses surprise at the Rigellian-aliens apparently speaking English, but the lead alien explains that he's actually speaking Rigellian, but adds that the English and Rigellian-languages happen to be identical to each other.
*** Later in "The Man Who Came to be Dinner"...
--->'''Homer''': Wow! This place is completely Alien, but everything's in English! Just like Canada!
** In "The Genesis Tub" from "Treehouse of Horror VII", the residents of Lisa's microcosm universe speak English, they claim, because they've learned to [[IgnorantOfTheirOwnIgnorance imitoot her exarctly]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'':
** Transformers always speak English, even the ones who aren't from Cybertron. There's no real reason why, nor is it ever commented on. There's no reason given why exceptions like Transformers without humanoid robots don't, either.
** Subverted by the Junkions, who speak English, but do it in a way that makes little sense... They [[LearntEnglishFromWatchingTelevision "Talk TV"]]. meaning, in a nutshell, their dialogue is pieced together from fragments of various Earth broadcasts, resulting in lingual mash-ups such as "Don't look behind door number two, Monty! It's time to play "End of the Line," my valentine! Ge-ronny-doo-ron-ron-ronny-moooo!"
** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', Jetfire and Jetstorm speak ''broken'' English with Russian accents.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' ALMOST avoids this one. In one episode, Starfire's ability to speak English is justified by the fact that her kind can instantly learn any language through "lip contact" with someone who speaks that language. But unfortunately, by that logic, all of her other people, who appear in a previous episode, must have snogged English-speaking humans as well. In [[ComicBook/TeenTitans the comics]], it's eventually revealed that Tamaraneans can learn languages through any kind of touch; Starfire just smooched Robin because she felt like it.
* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' features two alien races, the [[VoluntaryShapeshifting Fleeblebroxians]] ("Dale Beside Himself") and [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot space-traveling, high-tech-equipped dinosaur escapees from ancient Earth]] represented by Steggy ("Prehysterical Pet"). They all speak English. In fact, the only "aliens" that don't speak English are the [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever giant pillbugs]] from "Fake Me to Your Leader".
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' has two aliens of the same race that can speak perfect English from the get-go. Not only that, they even speak English between each other, when there's no others around...
* In ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', almost all alien species speak English. Not only does Zim speak perfect English to humans (granted, with his own weird twists) but already before Zim arrives on earth Dib overhears the Great Assigning of the Irken invaders and seems to have understood everything.
** Irkens do have their own written alphabet, [[https://www.google.com/search?q=Irken+alphabet&rlz=1CAACAP_enUS712&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=657&tbm=isch&imgil=2cFP9QgKwBVfKM%253A%253BV7EqoMeBpYseGM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fzim.wikia.com%25252Fwiki%25252FIrken_(Language)&source=iu&pf=m&fir=2cFP9QgKwBVfKM%253A%252CV7EqoMeBpYseGM%252C_&usg=__t5flF-RqiibievVtW5y9i44G-bI%3D&ved=0ahUKEwiN5sf6obvPAhWKNiYKHchKBvYQyjcINw&ei=oYrwV82RC4rtmAHIlZmwDw#imgrc=2cFP9QgKwBVfKM%3A though it's just a cipher of English]]. The comic continuation even seems to ignore that.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' flaunts this trope magnificently. There is even the "Galactic Cable Network" pay-TV service, complete with over 9 billion television channels...all in English. Bizarrely, before they encounter the aliens associated with the network, Jimmy reads a tablet sent from space and makes a throwaway comment about translating from Aramaic.
** Lampshaded in the spinoff ''WesternAnimation/PlanetSheen'':
--> '''Sheen''': Wow, Zeenuian sounds ''just'' like English! ''([[BreakingTheFourthWall Slowly turning to look at screen]])'' What an incredible coincidence!
* This was parodied in an animated segment of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''. African humans encounter aliens, who must consult an English-Swahili dictionary to translate.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'', this is lampshaded when they meet a race of Vegan aliens and Johnny states that it's good that they speak English.
* There have been three alien races on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': the Yugopotamians, the Bodacians, and the Gigglepies. All three speak perfect English. In fact, Mark talks with Earth SurferDude slang, and the Gigglepies are a RhymesOnADime race.
* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'':
** In the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 eighties cartoon]], upon meeting [[ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo Miyamoto Usagi]] for the first time (brought over through a dimensional portal) Raphael points out, "He's not only from an alternate dimension, but also ancient Japan. So naturally, he speaks English."
** In the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 2003 series]] an alien arrives and while at first speak a foreign language, the [[TranslatorMicrobes collar]] she wears is activated to translate it into English.
** In the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 2012 series]], the Kraang need their robotic suits to speak English, and even then [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment they can't speak it very well]]. The sole exception is [[Creator/GilbertGottfried Kraang Sub-Prime]], who speaks English fluently even without a suit, and is seen complaining that after thousands of years on Earth, he is the only Kraang who actually bothered to learn it.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' had a very bizarre take on this: two alien races, each with a language consisting of one word: the Heys and the Whats. The Heys, incidentally, all looked exactly like Arthur, which led to him being captured and interrogated by a What who had learned to speak Hey:
--> "Hey!" "What?" "''Hey!''" "''What?''" "Hey!!" "What?!"
** Additionally, the MrExposition for that episode was a What who had learned to speak every language on Earth...[[TakeThat "except Esperanto, you can tell that was going nowhere fast."]]
* Lampshaded on a ''WesternAnimation/FantasticFour'' cartoon. The aliens spoke in their native tongue for awhile, then freeze framed as an animated Creator/StanLee came out and said "For the convenience of those who don't speak Alien, we'll have them speak English for the rest of the episode."
* Whilst not aliens (although, the jury is out on the Olmecs), everyone in ''Anime/TheMysteriousCitiesOfGold'' speaks the same language (which you would assume is Spanish). Whilst it may be logical for some of the Native Tribes to have some people amongst them who had learned the Spanish Language by the time Esteban and co arrive in South America, it certainly doesn't explain why every little village girl, hidden tribe and TAO (who had been alone on an isolated island until meeting Esteban and Zia) could speak Spanish.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'':
** Hawkgirl and the Thanagarians all speak English by default. Even to each other. TranslatorMicrobes ''might'' cover that one, and it's not impossible that Hawkgirl may have taught some of the Leaguers a bit of Thanagarian. Especially [[CrazyPrepared Batman.]]
** In the episode "War World", there are a million types of aliens, all speaking English with no difficulty understanding anyone else. Given the spacefaring cultures in the DCU are heavily influenced by races like the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Guardians]]—who probably think ClarkesThirdLaw is redundant—it's entirely possible that translator technology is common among species that have any interstellar dealings at all.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales''.
--> '''Khalil:''' "The people there spoke a different language, but we'll just pretend they spoke English. Just like ''Franchise/StarTrek''."
* Not only can WesternAnimation/WordGirl speak English, but she can speak it ''better than you''. (Though she was RaisedByHumans, so...)
* Virtually everyone can understand each other in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''. Native Martians speak English, Omicronians speak English, Neutrals speak English, it goes on. Perhaps more impressively, although English changed a ''lot'' in the last 1000 years, it proceeds to stay the same for the next 1000. This is lampshaded in the sixth season episode, "Mobius Dick", when the Planet Express crew travels to a foreign planet to pick up a statue, written in English.
--> '''Leela:''' "Its" shouldn't have an apostrophe. This means "and it is crew". What the hell's wrong with you?\\
'''Alien:''' It's a minor error, lady. I mean, we're space aliens. It's a miracle we can even speak English.\\
'''Leela:''' The miracle is that I'm not kicking your ass! I insist you recarve the entire statue correctly.
* The titular character of ''WesternAnimation/MuzzyInGondoland'' is an alien speaking English in a cartoon that ''teaches'' English.
* 1973-74 ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' episodes "The Power Pirate", "Too Hot To Handle", "The Balloon People" and "The Watermen". The aliens in all of these episodes spoke perfect English with no explanation.
* ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'', being inspired by 70's super robot cartoons, doesn't even try to justify the alien main characters speaking English, or even bring it up.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' story arc "Close Encounters Of The Absurd Kind" has DM and Penfold abducted by a UFO for physical assessment. The head alien, Dr. Zok, speaks a garbled alien language which after activating his translator speaks our "rather primitive mode of speech."
-->'''D.M.:''' Primitive?! Look, when I get loose from here, you won't need a machine to translate things for you. A thump 'round the ear means the same in any language!
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'': The trope isn't thought about much as Queen Marlena is the only Earthling living in Eternia and one could [[WildMassGuessing assume]] TranslationConvention was in play and Marlena simply learned "Eternian" but the few stories showing Eternians interacting with other Earthlings show they actually speak English.
* Any alien on ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'', Frenchfry, Jumba's 62nd experiment, speaks fluent French despite Jumba having never been to Earth until after Stitch was created. Likewise, the entire ''Franchise/LiloAndStitch'' franchise has their aliens speaking English fluently without any acknowledgment from the human characters, save for two brief moments in [[Disney/LiloAndStitch the original film]] that both involve Stitch (who, ironically, has the most broken English among the alien characters who debuted in the first film).
* The Crystal Gems in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' have been living relatively close to humans for thousands of years, so they have reason to speak Earth languages (English in particular because their base is on the Northeastern Seaboard). But the Homeworld Gems have been separated from Earth for almost 6000 years and somehow also speak English, which had not been invented until under 2000 years ago. The Gems apparently have their own language, but they never speak it, even when they have no reason not to (such as when having a private conversation among themselves). [[spoiler:Until "Monster Reunion",]] the only time Gem language is so much as hinted to be something other than English is when their writing is visible in the background.
* Most aliens in ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' speak English. No reason is ever given. The only ones that might have a good reason to are the Glorft, who have been at war with humanity for decades at the start of the show. [[spoiler:They were also accidentally created by Coop, according to notes from the unproduced third season.]]
* Practically all the aliens encountered in ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' speak perfect English. The one exception was an alien who was incapable of human speech but quickly solved this problem by grabbing a nearby translation device.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'' plays this straight most of the aliens, but averts this with the light-bulb aliens in "Runaway Pride at Lightstation Kilowatt" who speak in R2-D2-ish gibberish and the ear-like lobes in Compassion Crashin who communicate with "Budda, budda, budda."
* As a rule, the aliens in ''WesternAnimation/TheScoobyDooAndScrappyDooShow'' speak like this.
* The characters on ''WesternAnimation/CreativeGalaxy'' all speak English, but occasionally splice in an unspecified alien language, i.e. "bleepity-bee, come fly with me!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/ReadyJetGo'', the Bortronians can speak English fairly well, although they do slip into their native tongue from time to time.
* ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'': All of the alien races in the show speak English and no explanation for it is ever attempted. Although there are some differences in terminology and pattern, such as Alteans keeping time via "Ticks" and the Balmerans speaking with a very distinct speech pattern. Written language, however, is completely different from written English, which causes a few problems.
* Played straight for the most part in ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlackTheSeries''. It's partially justified as most of the aliens are [[HumanDisguise secretly living among humans]] on Earth, however this trope usually still applies to aliens even when they're talking to another one of their own species or live on another planet. Extraterrestrial languages are only rarely heard being spoken. Though this does get humorously subverted with the Worm Emperor, [[MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels whose ability to speak English is terrible]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'' Starfire already spoke English when Robin met her. In other continuities, she kissed him and learned English that way.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A man named Ray Brown, exploring the "Bimini Road" in 1970 reported finding an underwater "Atlantean" pyramid in which he swam in. Finding a room with a crystal held by two stone hands, he took the crystal. He reported, as he swam out, that a voice told him "You have got what you came for. Now leave and don't come back!" Allowing that Atlantis is true and this event actually happened, why is a 12,000-15,000 year old Atlantean security system speaking perfectly modern English?!?