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A linguist or language specialist was an individual trained in the field of linguistics who primarily analyzes languages by observation.

Upon hearing the Ferengi language, prior to the re-initialization of Quark, Rom and Nog's universal translators following their capture in 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, on Earth, the Human Professor Jeff observed that "I would've expected creatures of their technological sophistication to communicate telepathically, but they seem to have a structured verbal language just like we do. Given enough time, a good team of linguists could probably decipher it." However, United States Army Air Forces Captain Wainwright disagreed about bringing in the linguists, explaining, "We're not bringing in anyone else. Too many people know about this as it is." (DS9: "Little Green Men")

Aboard Enterprise NX-01, Ensign Hoshi Sato was a language specialist who served as the ship's communications officer, and as such, she was responsible for all linguistic matters aboard the ship.

During a failed first contact with the Kreetassans, Sato go the implication from T'Pol that had she "picked up the language faster they might have not stormed off the ship." (ENT: "Vox Sola", "The Xindi")

In a deleted scene of ENT: "The Expanse", Hoshi Sato said that the upgraded universal translators would make life a lot more easier, to which Captain Jonathan Archer replied that they would never replace a linguist with a magical ear.

Later, during the Xindi mission in 2154, Sato was captured by the Xindi-Reptilians, and during her confinement was told by Dolim, that they were impressed with her linguistic abilities, because "Aquatic is difficult to master," adding, "I've heard it spoken my entire life but still, it doesn't come easily to me." She sarcastically replied that "maybe you should have applied yourself more," before he came to the point that they had some encoded data that they needed translated. After explaining that she wasn't a cryptologist, Dolim told her that he had "confidence in your abilities," and though she said she found that to be "very flattering", she had no intention of helping them. (ENT: "Countdown")

The first officer of the USS Aries, Commander Flaherty, was know for his "uncanny linguistic skill," according to mission briefing read by Commander William T. Riker, when he considered accepting the cy for that ship. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, however, said that that was an understatement, and that the last time he saw the commander, "he spoke forty languages. As I recall, among the more exotic were Romulan, Klingon, Giamon, [and] Stroyerian," further explaining that "He has this unique ability of instantaneously interpreting and extrapolating any verbal communication that he hears." (TNG: "The Icarus Factor")

Arturis was, according to Neelix, "a genius", who assisted the latter while he was trying to negotiate with a xenon-based lifeform when the universal translator went offline. According to Neelix, "Arturis here stepped in and acted as a perfect go-between, and he'd never heard either of our languages." Arturis explained, "Oh, they were simple," adding, "No insult intended." (VOY: "Hope and Fear")

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