What is this theme?
The Atlantis expedition is made up of the best and brightest from countries all around the world, so it should come as no surprise that many of these people can speak multiple languages. This list contains stories where a character(s) speaks another language or is identified as being able to. Stories where Teyla, Ronon, or another Pegasus native learn to speak, read, or write English are contained in a separate list (English as a Second Language
French is one of the most commonly selected languages for a few reasons. The most obvious canon reason being that Rodney is from Canada, which increases the likelihood of him speaking French to some level. As an example of the character absorbing the actor's background, the fact that Joe Flanigan
really speaks French
is probably influential as well.
Other common languages tend to stem from character backstories. Rodney frequently speaks Russian due to being sent to work in Russia after his experience in the SG-1 episode "48 Hours". Due his time in Afghanistan (or the Middle East in general), John is frequently said to speak Farsi or Arabic (though technically Pashto or Dari
would make more sense). Before the episode Outcast aired, John's father was frequently written as being a military general (influenced by the original character description). With this background, John presumably would have moved around a lot as a child, opening the door for him to believably speak any number of odd languages. Elizabeth's diplomatic background also makes her a blank slate for speaking any language.
Because the expedition is multinational with many people coming from non-English speaking countries, a character being able to speak only one language is probably more rare on Atlantis than being bilingual and beyond. This fact can make the scope of this list a bit challenging. Zelenka mutters under his breath in Czech in almost every story he appears in (he has to in order to maintain the will to live when working with Rodney). To keep this list focused on the theme, stories where Zelenka speaks in Czech are not included, unless this fact is important to the story (Rodney worries what Radek says about him when he rants in Czech, an accident or Ancient device causes Radek to forget how to speak English, team members bond over a shared language). This applies to other non-native English speakers as well.
Pegasus languages are included in this list with the same caveat. A large number of stories involve characters searching the Ancient database for information or Rodney gleaning information from a Wraith device. While they are reading in another language, it does not mean that this fact is important to the story or even directly mentioned. However, stories where the use of the language is critical (John finally takes the time to learn some Ancient, Rodney makes an error when translating that leads to problems) are included.
Unique to This List: I have added a line to indicate what language(s) is spoken and by which character(s)Last updated:
In Progress( Foreign Language StoriesCollapse )