How could Galactic common work?

So I’ve been thinking about how some media about aliens has something called galactic common, a language that all species speak, it’s always a verbal language and I wonder if that would actually work. Since most species will have very different mouths, no mouths at all, or an inability to make sounds. Maybe if the language was more of a morse code, but the problem of a creature being too small or too light to make sound, would be an issue.

The common for the game I was making was a type of sign that focuses on movement in order to account for how very different everyones hands are, but the problem with that is not every species would have eyes especially if they evolved in a place without light.

Maybe a touch based language would work best since I’ve haven’t heard of a species who can’t sense touch. Not to mention prosthetics are easy since all you need is a poking stick. But what are your guy’s thoughts on this? Also written language is cheating.

That’s an interesting question, and one that may have implications for Thrive. I think the only real solution would be to have multiple versions of the language, for different means of sensation. So, there could be an audio version, a visual version, a tactile version, etc. Technology could make it much easier to manage this, displaying it in different ways on different species equipment.


Your species’ lenguage would be galactic common if they are the only species alive, if you get what I mean.


Good idea, it would also be much easier for machines to translate a one to one language rather than two completely separate languages with most likely entirely different rules and exceptions.

Though I would want to keep the technology required to a minimum and limit the total languages used to about two or three in order to prevent things like language drift, sabotage, and machine failure. Though this would be the best option for species that can’t exist in the same space due to toxins or differing atmosphere requirements.


As for me, I think that “Galactic Common” would be either very hard or impossible to achieve. (Some) Civilizations of different species would most likely try to preserve their languages and related things, so at least some civs would not accept any sort of GC.

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Understanding galactic common wouldn’t mean loosing your local language, just that most speakers would be bilingual, and ones that aren’t would probably be born in multi-species household. Though some species might not be capable of speaking multiple languages, or are unable to comprehend speaking a new one. Making speaking galactic common an either or situation, or only for new generations.


It would however make it less prestigue since only 1 inter-planetary species is using it and not 2, quite possibly leading to it’s slow doom.

??? I don’t really understand what you’re saying. are you saying because it’s less widespread it’s more likely to be more overtaken by GC? Well because it’s now closly linked to their culture it mostlikly wont not die off. I mean settlers tried to beat ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi out of Hawaiians and it’s still their official language, so it’s perfectly possible that GC and whatever native language an alien has can coexist peacefully as long as they have strong enough cultural ties.


As far as I can tell, the GC would most likely remain a secondary language, but it’s not unthinkable that certain species would have languages similar enough to merge them in one way or another.


Caucasia was mountainous and every tribe maintained its own language because they couldn’t communicate with the tribes on the neighboring valley. The eurasian steppe was flat and the indo europeans spread across it and their prestigous language was adopted by the natives. Today half the world speaks indo european. When the migration ended the dialect continium diverged into mutually unintelligable forms because there was no communication between india and scotland. It is likely that unless the internet is banned or something like that, eventually the whole world will be bilingual and speak english. Their native languages will be lexified and those will start to sound english as well, just with an accent.

Different planets will also start speaking a single language assuming they don’t censor each others’s media. Only due to their anatomy there may be differences because they may not be able to make sounds or make the same sounds. But even then the different languages will just be the calques of each other.

It might require you to move 100 lightyears to see a change in the dialect continium assuming no ftl and 100 year lifespan.