Saturday, November 13, 2010

STAR TREK: Extraterrestrial Communication

In time for Monday's Kick-Off of our school's 4th GAPP (German American Partnerhip Program) our Tw0-Way Exchange Partnership Program, let's see if we can work on understanding the phrase "language barrier."

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5 Episode 2 is called DARMOK.

In this episode we are introduced to a device that helps the crew understand and communicate with people of alien races. What is it?

Check the episode out HERE (at

You'll see a banner ad above a black screen. Give the episode a few moments to load.

See if you can answer the following questions, devised by teacher Wendy Clemons, Jackson, Mi.
(I suggest that you print them out so that they'll be on hand while you watch. Then you can hand them in to me, rather than including the answers below. Feel free to discuss any of the questions below, though.)

STAR TREK • The Next Generation • DARMOK
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••Season 5 Episode 2

Section 1

1. What is the name of the race of people the Enterprise is called to visit?
A. The Tamok
B. The children of Tama
C. The people of El Adrell
D. The Darmoks

2. Picard says
"In my experience communication is a matter of ____________, imagination."

3. On which phrase is Picard transported to the planet?
A. Shaka when the walls fell
B. Darmok at Tenagra
C. Morab his sails unfurled
D. Darmok and Gilad at Tenagra

4. What does Capt. Dathon do when Picard first arrives on the planet El Adrell?
A. Salutes him with a knife
B. Attacks him with a knife
C. Offers him some food
D. Asks him to sit down

Section 2

5. Worf believes that Captain Picard was sent to the planet to
A. Offer a peace treaty
B. Make the crew of the Enterprise helpless
C. Take part in a contest
D. Receive a gift

6. When Captain Picard first arrives on the planet does he take the knife?

7. What emotion does Captain Dathon show here?
A. Anger
B. Sadness
C. Happiness
D. Fear

8. How does Captain Dathon offer Picard help?
A. Throws a stick of fire
B. Gives him some of his food
C. Lets him drink from the river
D. Loans him a blanket

Section 3

9. How do Data and Counselor Troi help?
A. They take a shuttle to the planet
B. They tell Commander Riker to fire on the other ship
C. They study the language
D. They visit the other ship

10. What possession of Captain Dathon's does Picard look at?
A. Jacket
B. Captain's log
C. Backpack
D. Knife collection

11. Counselor Troi says, "A single word could be_________".

12. What do you hear when Captain Dathon says, "Darmok and Gilad at Tenagra!"
A. A ship
B. Another Tamarian
C. A beast
D. A loud bang

Section 4

13. Why does Picard take the knife?
A. He needs to hunt for food
B. He's angry at Dathon
C. It might be worth money
D. He needs to defend himself

14. Does Picard want to be beamed out?

15. Which of the following phrases expresses a failure?
A. Shaka when the walls fell
B. Darmok and Gilad at Tenagra
C. Gilad on the ocean
D. The river Tamok

16. Captain Picard says, "I remember the________ but I don't understand."

17. Captain Picard realizes that the Tamarians are speaking
A. In circles
B. In slang
C. In metaphors
D. In subjunctive clauses

Section 5

18. What example does Counselor Troi use?
A. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse
B. Juliet on her balcony
C. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
D. Farewell, sweet prince

19. Data says "It's like understanding the ________ of a language but not the vocabulary".

20. Why does Captain Dathon want to hear a story?
A. He needs a distraction
B. He has some time to kill
C. He misses his home
D. He wants to hear something funny

Section 6

21. For what purpose did Captain Dathon bring Picard to El Adrell?
A. To fight
B. To discuss a peace agreement
C. To answer a riddle
D. To make a connection

22. How is war averted?
A. The Enterprise beams the Captain out
B. The Tamarians run away
C. Captain Picard communicates
D. Captain Picard saves Dathon

23. Captain Dathon sacrificed his life to
A. Open the door of communication
B. Force the Enterprise to back down
C. Allow the Federation to enter their system
D. Get Captain Picard down to the planet

24. At the end of the episode, what does Picard do?
A. Gives the knife to the Tamarians
B. Kills the beast
C. Gives a salute
D. Cries in his ready room

After you've watched DARMOK, consider weighing in on these discussion questions as contributed by teacher Bernie A. McKichen, of Sheboygan Falls, WI:

1. What does Captain Picard believe determines communication?

2. How does Commander Riker plan to rescue Captain Picard?

3. How do the two captains achieve their 1st breakthru in communicating with each other?

4. How do the Tamarians prevent the rescue attempt by the Enterpirse?

5. How many definitions exist in the computer for "Darmok?"

6. How do Data and Counselor Troi discover the meaning of "Darmok?"

7. How does Captain Picard realize the Tamarians communicate?

8. What example does Counselor Troi cite to show how the Tamarians communicate?

9. What does it represent?

10. What is the most important element of Tamarian speech?

11. Why can't the Enterprise crew use this information to communicate with the Tamarians?

12. What is "Tanagra?"

13. Why was Captain Picard brought to the planet by the Tamarians?

14. What story does Picard tell the Tamarian captain?

15. Why does he tell him this particular story?

16. What label does Captain Picard give the Tamarians?

17. What is Captain Picard reading at the end of the show and why?

Finally, here are a few additional things for you to consider:

1. Is Captain Dathon's sacrifice worth it? Why, or why not?

2. What did Captain Picard gain from this experience?

3. What do you think it would be like to go someplace where no one understood you?

4. Does this experience make you more likely to make an effort to get to know the foreign exchange students who come to our school?

5. How tempted might you be to join the German Club after school on the afternoon in which we invite NKHS's exchange and or foreign students to visit with us in February? -- Or to join us on an excursion with our visiting German Exchange Partners from Düren in April?


  1. Hallo alla!
    I have no idea what half of these questions are! I've seen the new Star Trek and it is UBER kool! 99% of the stuff thats in the movie is animation! Is absolutely amazing!
    Auf Wiedersehen!
    der Schweizer

  2. Ich weiß über den Sterntreck nicht, aber ich will anfangen, es bald zu beobachten.

  3. I can never bring myself to watch star trek. I do not know why, one reason is because the actors and there costumes are just way to cheesey and it bugs me becasue they look to funny to be taken seriously

  4. Do we get bonus point for answering all these questions?

  5. Star Trek (auch heiß ,Raumschiff Enterprise') ist mein Lieblings-Fernseher-Serie! Ich kenne diese Episode, es ist eine der beste auch alles die Episoden.