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THE UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR
The technical ability to exchange data is not in itself sufficient to permit communication. A common set of symbols and concepts - a language - is equally important before communications can occur. This is difficult enough on a planet where individuals of the same species speak different languages.
The Universal Translator includes extremely sophisticated computer hardware and software that are designed to first analyze the patterns of a form of communications, then to derive a translation matrix to permit real time verbal or data exchanges. Although the Universal Translator is primarily intended to work with spoken communications, it can be used for translation with a wide range of language media.
The Universal Translator exists as a major system in a Computer main frame - comprised of its own memory and data processing links. As well as various cryptographic sub-routines, the majority of the memory is the Language Bank. Recorded here are the lexicons of every language from every race ever encountered. The Bank is constantly being updated as surveyors discover new languages. It is the surveying leader’s responsibility to acquire a lexicon of the new language, and to forward subsequently this lexicon to the C.U.T. Main Office, from where it will be distributed via a specially coded channel to all personnel.
- DERIVING A TRANSLATION MATRIX
The first step in deriving a translation matrix is to obtain as large a sample as possible of the unknown communication. Wherever possible, this sample should include examples of at least two native speakers conversing with each other. Extensive pattern analysis yields estimates on zymology, syntax, usage patterns, vocabulary, and cultural factors. Given an adequate sample, it is usually possible to derive a highly simplified language subset in only a few minutes, although policy generally requires a much more extensive analysis before diplomatic usage of the Universal Translator is permitted.
In the case where the individual communicated with has a similar language technology, it is sometimes useful to translate outgoing messages into the Unicode language form, since this is specifically designed as a culturally neutral “anti encrypted” language medium.
The accuracy and applicability of the translation matrix is only as good as the language sample on which the matrix is based. A limited sample will generally permit a basic exchange of concepts, vocabulary, or usage varies too far from the sample. Since the Universal Translator constantly updates the translation matrix during the course of usage, it is often useful to allow the program to accumulate a larger linguistic sample by exchanging simple subjects before proceeding to the discussion of more complex or sensitive subjects.
When encountering an unknown transmission, the Communications Officer will - at the C.O.’s order - hook in the Universal Translator, which will submit the incoming message to a variety of steps:
Scan the Language Banks to see if the incoming message matches an already existing file lexicon. If it is, access file and interpret it [two-way] in real-time. Scan the Language Banks to see if the incoming transmission or portion of it may be a degenerate/branch-off form of a file lexicon. If so, analyze changes, establish pattern, create new lexicon file, access file and interpret it [two-way] in real-time. Record the incoming transmission. At the end, analyze it as a unit, and correlate translation looking for logical consistencies in pattern. Create a new lexicon file. Alert the Communications Officer and playback the stored translated transmission.
Once translation is possible, the Universal Translator will dub the new vocal over the original, adjusting grammar and punctuation, while attempting to match the original voice pattern. Outgoing messages will also be translated.
- TRANSMISSION ENCODING
A) Carrier Wave
B) Signal at Transmitting End
C) Packet Encoding/Masking Signal
D) Encoded Transmission
E) Packet Encoding/Masking Signal
F) Signal at Receiving End
All transmissions are encoded as a matter of course. Both sender and receiver have an identical selection of Encoding/Decoding computerized sub-routine packets. When transmitting, the entire message - except for the prefix - will be scrambled by the Encoding sub-routine packets, which consists of a series of randomized signals.
The prefix states:
Decoding Sub-routine Necessary
Packets “C” through “Z” are used randomly (to prevent an enemy from learning a pattern through repeat usage), and the entire C-Z set are replaced by Logistics every five years. These are kept at the Bridge Communications Station.
Packet “B” is kept locked up in the Communications Officer’s safe, and can be accessed only by that officer or the Commanding Officer. A “B” encoded transmission must be routed to that office to be decoded, as the packet may not be removed from that location.
Likewise, packet “A” is kept in the Commanding Officer’s personal safe. It indicates that an incoming message is for the CO’s eyes only.
A hand courier replaces packets “A” and “B” at least four times per year. All Encoding/Decoding computerized sub-routine packets carry a minimum Grade 2 Security Classification.
Should Command learn - or suspect - that an enemy has broken an Encoding/Decoding computerized sub-routine packet’s pattern, they will alert the Communications Officer of every vessel and facility of this suspicion, and order them to discontinue usage of this packet at once.
- TRANSMISSION SECURITY CODES
The C.U.T. Main Office maintains a variety of security codes for use during both peacetime and wartime. These codes are arranged by priority from 1 to 50. The function of these individual codes is summarized below.
- TRANSMISSION SECURITY CODES (T.S.C.) 1-29
T.S.C. 01-10 codes are for normal peacetime transmissions of varying priorities, with routine transmissions between civilian and commercial centers receiving a priority dispatch of 1 through 10.
T.S.C. 11-20 are for Diplomatic and Military communications. 11-15 are used in conditions of hostilities between the United States and a foreign power. 16-20 are used between allied forces. These priorities are used to transmit orders regarding the dispositions of vessels and ground troops, the relocation of civilian personnel, the assigning of military resources to different commands, operations orders for these commands, and specific operations orders.
T.S.C. 21-29 is for use by the Diplomatic Corps.
- TRANSMISSION SECURITY CODES (T.S.C.) 30-50
These codes specify conditions of emergency, with variable priority levels given to specific problems or crisis conditions during peacetime operations.
Transmission of a communication at T.S.C. 30 code indicates an emergency condition involving a national disaster or other unspecified emergency. The use of this code level means that the sending station is not able to respond adequately to the emergency and requires immediate help at the scene.
The T.S.C. 31 code level is used for a medical emergency.
The T.S.C. 32 code level is used for a planetary crisis of natural origin.
The T.S.C. 33 code level is used for a bio-medical crisis requiring immediate evacuation of personnel.
The T.S.C. 34 code level is used for a bio-medical crisis requiring immediate quarantine.
The T.S.C. 35 code level is used for an ecological disaster or similar planetary crisis.
T.S.C. 36 - 38
The T.S.C. 36-38 code levels are used for crises of unknown that required the immediate evacuation of a large segment of a planet’s populace.
Use of the T.S.C. 39 code level indicates an attack by unknown agents on Military personnel or civilian installations or residences.
Transmissions coded at T.S.C. 40 level are directed to a specific Military Base or Navy Ship’s Officer, for disclosure to ship or base command staff only.
T.S.C. 41 is similar to a T.S.C. 40 transmission except that it is only for disclosure to the most senior officer present.
T.S.C. 42 transmissions are directed to a specific Ship or Military Base Chief Medical Officer, for disclosure to ship or base command staff only.
T.S.C. 43 is similar to a T.S.C. 42 transmission, except that it is for disclosure to the most senior officer present.
T.S.C. 44 transmissions are directed to specific Ship or Military Base Security Chiefs, for disclosure to ship or base command staff only.
T.S.C. 45 messages are similar to those using T.S.C. 44, except that they may be disclosed only to the most senior officer present.
The T.S.C. code level is for direct messages to Flag Officers and/or higher.
The T.S.C. 47 Code level is used under circumstances similar to T.S.C. 46, except that no acknowledgement or log entry of the transmission is recorded.
Transmissions at the T.S.C. 48 level are for the Commander of N.A.T.O, President of the United Nations, or the President of the European Union.
The T.S.C. 49 transmissions are for members of the U.N. Security Council or their representatives.
Transmissions coded at the T.S.C. 50 level are for the leader of a specific planetary government or his/her designated representatives. No direct acknowledgement or record of these transmissions can be made without the President’s prior authorization.
Transmissions coded at the T.S.C. 51 level are for the U.N. Secretary General or his/her designated representatives. No direct acknowledgement or record of these transmissions can be made without the President’s prior authorization.