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Xenolinguistics

 The three dominant languages of the galaxy today are System English, Interlac, and Centaurn (the main language of the Centauri). English is, more or less, the official military and diplomatic language. Interlac (INTERstellar Language and Arithmetic Code) is a form of interstallar esperanto that can be generally understood by all species. The importance of knowing Centauri waned with its Empire.

 Alien ambassadors and businessmen are overall the most linguistically fluent. Their English is nearly perfect, either through education and practice, or through a direct cyberlink to the brain which dumps English equvalents in their own language and grammar (this procedure is very expensive and quite uncomfortable). Though convenient, this type of learning causes the recipient to lose cultural references and contextual meaning of what is said.

 Not all races have the physical ability to speak each other's language, and rely on translators. These devices are not universal. Their language AI programs are usually designed for direct translation from one tongue to another. Translation teams are also used.

 On the space station Babylon 5, areas are marked by both simplified English signs and pictograms.

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