Learning a language if you have a 'universal translator' that can't be turned off

In Farscape, the characters have ‘translator microbes’ that allow them to communicate. I’m guessing that translation is automatic and can’t be turned off. If this is the case and the character automatically hears the speech in his own language, how would a character learn another language? Maybe they would have to figure out how to read a language and its associated sounds?

I suppose reading might be enough if accompanied by an understandable phonetic version.

Ideally, you would want to figure out the specifics on how the translator microbes work and trick them in whatever way necessary to not translate.

If your brain has been rewired by the Babel fish/translator microbes, wouldn’t you simply understand the new language, rather than hear the speech in your own language? Unless they work by somehow overriding your hearing, in which case you had better figure out how to turn them off in order to hear the original speech.

Hadn’t thought of that.

I don’t think it was established if translator microbes only made you understand other languages or if you actually heard everything in your own language, but it made clear multiple times they don’t actually enable you to speak other languages. So when the crew was on Earth they could understand everyone perfectly fine, but had to actually learn how to speak English. I remember a scene where Aeryn was trying to buy something in a store and we heard her with a weird accent from the cashier’s perspective.

IIRC, someone thought she was Romanian.

I found your transcript, and it says translator microbes colonize the base of your brain and allow you to understand each other.

Beyond that, you may be giving it more thought than the writers, but it never says they substitute for practice speaking the other language or reading or fixing your accent, so as far as any of this makes sense, it’s consistent you would have to learn foreign languages as usual, you just have the equivalent of automatic subtitles when you hear anything and maybe even for written language.

Does it work in your own language? If I said “This bar is very noisome” would you understand my meaning even if you didn’t previously know what the word noisome meant? And what happens if I’m using the word incorrectly and I thought noisome meant loud? When I said “This bar is very noisome” would you understand the correct meaning or the meaning that I had intended?

In some of the later episodes, Crichton notices and comments that Aeryn is speaking English for a few idioms, which of course she learned from him.

I am told the experience is the aural equivalent of looking at a picture of two black silhouetted faces and suddenly seeing it as a picture of a white candlestick. Or of looking at a lot of coloured dots on a piece of paper which suddenly resolve themselves into the figure six and mean that your optician is going to charge you a lot of money for a new pair of glasses.