Monday, November 05, 2007

What Is It About The Island That
Makes Language Skills A Must?

Kelvin is a perfect member of the post-Purge Dharma or the
post-Purge recruited Hostiles whichever it actually is
because of his language skills. He has at least English and
Arabic and I'd suspect more languages in his bag of tricks.
Mikhail clearly spoke multiple languages. Bea Klugh spoke
multiple languages. Why would language skills be important
on an isolated Island inhabited by less than 100 people?


capcom said...

Interesting thought! Maybe we can go back to TLE and the Hanso job search with that question. For whatever reasons, their prospective recruits required fluency in a number of languages, some specified, some not. I just checked that sight again, and the only one that didn't need it was the simian vet. :-D

Anyway, my only guess would be that in the early days, someone seeking a job with them, or someone that the DI would snatch up themselves, would be working for a truly global venture, so anyone fluent in a lot of languages would quickly rise to the top of the pile of resumes. Having said that, I hope that TPTB weave a better meaning into this aspect than the guesstimation that I just gave. :-)

You're question also brings another point to mind. It seems that the station-keeper job was well suited for some and not for others. Kind of like being a lighthouse person. Patchy obviously enjoyed his cloistered existance in the Flame, where Kelvin (who must have been a more social person than Patchy) did not like his sheltered existance at all. I guess being a former globe-trotting CIA person, that would be understandable.

maven said...

And don't forget multi-lingual Naomi (even though she was not an "islander" but a "visitor".

I agree with Capcom that most of the bi and tri-lingual people on the island were recruited by DI and they probably saw the world as one big happy place.

memphish said...

I even wonder if they were trying to ensure the preservation of multiple languages and cultures. That sounds like a hippy dippy kind of thing to do, but in that lazy American fashion of not learning the languages yourself, but finding foreigners who've already done it. :-)

capcom said...

Actually Memphish that's a great thought to expand on. Could the DI in trying to preserve the world via the VE solution, also have concerned themselves with preserving as many of the cultures of the world as they could if the whole thing went down badly? Sort of like Noah, but taking at least one of each culture with them on the island ark?

Amused2bHere said...

I can think of a few reasons:

--you never know who is going to drop in on the Island, so it is best to be prepared to understand them.
--your options for undercover identities are greater if you can pretend to be from many cultures
--you can communicate with the others on the Island without your hostages knowing what you are saying
--scientists from around the world were recruited and they would need their support staff to be polyglots as well.