Is there no French translation software in the Halcyon System?
If its a really uncommon language in Halcyon, almost certainly not. The corporations own almost all industry, and would never make anything so unprofitable.
Contolling access to language is also a time honored practice among oppressive governments. If French doesn't serve a function for the board, it's in the board's best interest to limit access to the language.
Have you SEEN how badly everything functions here? It's likely that finding the translation software would be JUST as problematic! And it would end up being GOOGLE TRANSLATE!
The head of Sublight is treated as a complete lunatic for believing in aliens. However, the Halycon system does have aliens. They're just the nonsentient kind. It's a weird jump but not as weird as people might think to believe the other kind have been encountered.
Though alien life is a big deal, intelligent alien life is a whole other thing. And even if there was intelligent alien life out there, it's still a massive leap to apply their influence to this particular situation.
To put it another way "Aliens, reasonable." "Aliens, who are intelligent, who are part of a secret conspiracy to make everything wrong, whom I have to murder people to stop?" KINDA. Imagine if, in real life, the head of a corporation came up, and announced in a public meeting that the reason for their product failure was "There's a secret conspiracy of Lizard people who convince people to not buy our product. WE HAVE TO KILL THEM ALL! WE HAVE TO KILL THEIR MINIONS!"
There seems to be a bit of a logistics issue that crops up as we learn more of the backstory. 1: the colony ships Groundbreaker and Hope took ten full years to get to their destination, with the entire passenger manifest (several hundred thousand) in stasis minus auxiliary crew (about a dozen). 2: the maximum time a person can be allowed to remain in stasis is ten years, as after that their revival is almost certainly impossible. 3: From the logs found aboard theHope, the auxiliary crew was only provided with exactly enough food to survive the journey, ten years worth. So, if the auxiliary crew was meant to survive on rations that would run out roughly when they arrived at their destination, then where did the colonists find ANY food the first year? How were they meant to set up farms before terraformers could be deployed? Were there other stocks of food separate from the crew's rations? And if so, why didn't the crew of theHope go for that food before turning their passengers into TV dinners? Even if it was stored in a completely different section of the ship, a spacewalk to retrieve it should have been preferable to killing the colonists. Or were all the foodstuffs stored aboard the Groundbreaker? Even assuming the terraformers were immediately able to render large zones habitable and the colonists immediately began hunting and gathering in those zones, they should have been looking at a famine that would make the current one look like a cakewalk.
There's no logistical problem. Groundbreaker and Hope are Sister ships but their missions were distinctly different. Groundbreaker was sent ahead with the mission of establishing the colony infrastructure, building settlements, terraformers, and yes, farms, literally breaking ground on the Halycon Colony. Whereas the Hope was a follow up vessel carrying colonists who would be necessary to the colonies long term growth and viability, but would only get in the way during the early stages of development. Their missions were related but different, so there's no reason to think that both ships were fitted out or supplied the same.
Also? The corporations who did that are, in fact, completely incompetent...so such a mistake is ENTIRELY in character.