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English on Nyrian computer

A Nyrian computer system reprogramed to display English, using a translation algorithm sourced from USS Voyager's cultural database.

Kobayashi Maru data

English was the default language displayed by Starfleet computers

"English? I thought I dreamed hearing it…"
– Khan Noonien Singh, 2267 ("Space Seed")

English was a Human language. It was a major operating language for Starfleet, and was spoken widely throughout the Federation.

In fact, "New Eden" suggests that English and Federation Standard are esentially synonymous: an isolated group of Humans descending from 21st century Americans are identified as speaking Federation Standard. In "There Is A Tide...", the English-language text of the armistice offered by Osyraa is captioned on-screen as Federation Standard.

The modern language had developed in England by around the 16th century, and began spreading across Earth in earnest in the 17th century as Old Britain expanded its naval power over the planet's oceans and claimed many colonial territories. As a result, the language became commonly spoken in such nation-states as Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Fiji, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States of America, among others.

Poetry and literature, including the Bible, made use of old English forms of words such as "thou", "thee", and "shalt". (TOS: "The Conscience of the King", "Whom Gods Destroy", TNG: "Ménage à Troi", "The Schizoid Man", DS9: "The Wounded" et. al.)

"Volatile" was an English adjective. (VOY: "Drone")

English alphabet[]

The alphabet of the English language consisted of 52 symbols representing 26 letters.

Enterprise-D nursery, 2365

English alphabet adorns the Enterprise-D nursery, 2365

The English alphabet was also present in nurseries to help children learn them along side other alien alphabets. A nursery aboard the Enterprise-D had the English alphabet on the wall in 2365. (TNG: "The Child")

Starfleet vessels of note, such as the Constitution-class USS Enterprise and the predecessors of the USS Relativity were commemorated by having new ships later named after them and keeping the same registry number, but adding a letter based on the number of ships that have been renamed. The Galaxy-class USS Enterprise, which has the registry number NCC-1701-D, would then be the fifth vessel to bear the name, and referred to as the Enterprise-D.

The USS Relativity dedication plaque suggests it was "…the seventh ship to bear the name" but its registry number, NCV-474439-G, suggests it was the eighth.

When the USS Enterprise's autodestruct sequence was activated, Captain Jean-Luc Picard joked wryly that they would probably build yet another Enterprise, "…plenty of letters left in the alphabet." (Star Trek: First Contact)


Beowulf was an ancient English Epic poem. (VOY: "Heroes and Demons")

From 1992 to 1996, Khan Noonien Singh was the absolute ruler of a quarter of Earth's Human population, from the Subcontinent to the Middle East. English was spoken in several of his subject countries, and in others seized by his fellow supermen in 1993. (TOS: "Space Seed")

Terra nova welcome mat

A welcome mat on Terra Nova

In 2024, individuals that were submitted to the Sanctuary Districts were given questionnaires and told to answer all of the questions to the best of their ability. They were told that if they could not speak English an interpreter would be provided, and if they could not read, the questions would be given to them verbally. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

On the maiden mission of the UESPA/Starfleet Enterprise NX-01, when linguist Hoshi Sato was discomforted by the sequencing of the deflector at warp 4.4, she snapped at T'Pol "ponfo mirann!" (Vulcan for "go to hell!"); T'Pol replied coldly, "I was instructed to speak English on this voyage and I'd appreciate it if you'd respect that." (ENT: "Broken Bow")

In early 2152, welcoming Vulcan ambassador V'Lar aboard Enterprise, T'Pol addressed her in Vulcan; V'Lar insisted that they not speak this language, as she wanted the opportunity to practice her English. (ENT: "Fallen Hero")

In the writers' second draft script of ENT: "Breaking the Ice", T'Pol mentioned that, by then, "most Vulcan officers" spoke English.

Later yet that year, Jonathan Archer encountered a wraith that appeared to him in the form of a Human female. This female spoke to Archer, much to his surprise, as his initial reply to her was a statement of the obvious: "You're speaking English." (ENT: "Rogue Planet")

When Enterprise encountered an automated repair station, Captain Archer noted that all of the panels were in English. T'Pol stated the computer must have scanned their database. (ENT: "Dead Stop")

In the alternate reality, Jaylah learned the English language from the records of the USS Franklin. When she spoke to Montgomery Scott upon their first meeting in 2263, he was surprised to be addressed in English. (Star Trek Beyond)

In 2267, Khan was revived from suspended animation and his first question was in English: "How long?" Waking later in the USS Enterprise's sickbay, he thought he had dreamed of hearing the language. (TOS: "Space Seed")

Later that year, the long-lost Zefram Cochrane was surprised to find that James T. Kirk, Spock, Leonard McCoy, and Nancy Hedford spoke English. (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

The inhabitants of the planet 892-IV spoke a parallel-development form of English, which Spock said had been spoken on Earth three hundred years before. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

One reason that the use of English in the episode "Bread and Circuses" is made explicit – aside from a nod to a certain 20th century empire – is the homophone "sun/son", which confuses Kirk, Spock and McCoy and is resolved by Uhura. Such wordplay is not likely in an alien language heard via the Universal translator, nor is it present in either Greek or Latin, the actual languages of ancient Rome.

Kelemane's letter

An example of English developing on another planet

In 2268, the Enterprise encountered a Melkotian buoy which communicated telepathically, everyone on the bridge comprehending the message in her/his native language: Russian for Chekov, Ki-Swahili for Uhura, his own planetary language for Spock, English for Kirk, and certain others. (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

In 2270, Nyota Uhura described the English language as "universal". (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")

When the crew of the USS Enterprise-D pulled up the Treaty of Armens, it included both the English language version alongside the Sheliak language version. (TNG: "The Ensigns of Command")

English was still in use in the 33rd century in some capacity by the V'draysh. The word "Warning" would be displayed on V'draysh escape pods in a state of danger. (ST: "Calypso")

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