Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics. There are over 6000 languages of Earth alone, with millions throughout the Marvel Universe.

Most Marvel Comics are written in variation of English known as "American English."

In most instances during which a character is speaking in another language and the reader is meant to know what they're saying, said character's dialogue in their speech bubble will be written in American English between angle brackets ("<" and ">"), which indicates that said character is talking in another language. The first use of angle brackets is usually accompanied by an asterisk and an editor note box stating what language it the dialogue being translated form.

In other occasions, speech bubbles with text in another language may feature narration boxes next to them, which translate said dialogue. In less common cases, dialogue spoken in languages may not be translated at all.

When foul language is censored, the word (or words) in question is usually replaced with a standard grawlix ("#$%&").


  • Wolverine: is a polyglot thanks to his long life and world travels; he is fluent in many languages including English, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Cheyenne, Lakota, and Spanish; he has some knowledge of French, German, Thai, Vietnamese, Farsi and Portuguese.[1] Ogun taught him Japanese ideograms.
  • Captain America: thanks to his enhanced memory from the Super-Soldier Serum can speak English, German, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, French and Italian. There might be even more that he is lingual in. He picked up most of the languages fighting in World War II.[2]
  • Iron Man, apart from his native English, Tony can speak different languages, including Japanese,[3][4] French,[5] and Russian.[6][7] He also appears to know Middle Eastern languages, though Urdu was never his strong suit.[8] He is able to translate further using the Iron Man Armor's translation software.
  • Nightcrawler is similarly gifted as he spent his youth travelling around Europe as the star performer in a circus and knowing the language of wherever they were that week was very handy. Aside from the Russian and Japanese everyone learned he also speaks German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian.[citation needed]
  • Austin Cao, a client of Matt Murdock's. Austin worked in Language Services at Midas Investments; he speaks 17 languages fluently and another 10 passably.[9]
  • Kitty Pryde is fluent in various languages such as royal and standard Shi'ar[10] and Skrullos.[11] She also has some moderate knowledge of Gaelic, Hebrew,[12] and German. When Illyana Rasputina came to stay with the team, Xavier telepathically taught them all fluent Russian,[13] and when the team went to Japan for Wolverine's wedding to Mariko Yashida, he likewise taught them Japanese.[14]
  • Sage, a mutant with unlimited learning capability, claims to speak "over 123[sic]" languages fluently.[15] She is restricted in her knowledge only by a lack of comprehensive, digitally-available records.
  • On Earth-1610; Namor became fluent in English by listening to the Fantastic Four speak to S.H.I.E.L.D. agents for roughly five minutes.[16]
  • Beast is fluent in several languages including English, German,[17] French,[18] Latin, Italian,[19] Spanish, Japanese,[18] Arabic, and Russian[20] as well as Latverian. The Black Swan has also been teaching him a few extinct languages.[21]
  • Magneto's troubled life across Europe has given is fluency in various languages such as in English, French, Polish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Ukrainian,[22] Yiddish,[23] in addition to his native German.[24]


  • Doug Ramsey has the mutant power to understand any language, even if it should have been completely incomprehensible to the human mind. This extended even to raw computer binaries, dead written languages for which no Rosetta stone exists.[25]
  • Lockheed can understand what one is saying regardless of language; he knows several human and alien languages and speaks English, but rarely does so.[26]


  • Professor X using his telepathy can understand all languages, he can download the knowledge into his mind or to others. When he sends the X-Men on a mission with short-duration language programming, mostly by reading the minds of people in the area they're visiting. Recent examples have included:
    • Teaching Frenzy several local African dialects.[27]
    • Programming the entire field team with local customs and languages when they visited a spaceship graveyard in Indonesia. [28]
    • Cyclops becoming fully fluent in Cantonese for a couple of weeks when the team undertook a mission in Hong Kong. [29]
    • Illyana Rasputin was taught fluent English over the course of a single night by programming it into her brain while she slept.[13]
    • When the team went to Japan for Wolverine's wedding to Mariko Yashida, he likewise taught them Japanese.[14]
  • Sleepwalker, learned to speak English because that's the language his human host speaks. If Sleepwalker had been trapped in the mind of someone who spoke another language, like French or German, he would have begun using that language when he first appeared in the human world.[30]


Many alien species have visited earth and have been able to use signals from various forms of entertainment and communication to learn the native language:

  • Shatterstar possesses enhanced learning capabilities and mastered Spanish by watching television.[31]
  • The Spineless Ones, the residents of the Mojoverse have had their dreams bombarded with TV transmissions from Earth-616 for thousands of their years (time works differently in their dimension). They understand Earth languages and have replicated Earth TV culture.[32]

Universal Translator


All Asgardians, and other deities in the Marvel Universe, can speak every language thanks to the "Allspeak" or "All-Tongue", in which what they say is understood by every species in their own native language.[37]

Cypher Language

The Marvel Universe has various alien languages based on cypher codes. The code usually works using English usually, a substitution cipher with the same words, grammar and all. Typically, an entirely new 26 letter alphabet is invented. A few examples are:

(See Also:
  1. Wolverine: Origins #32
  2. Amazing X-Men Vol 2 #11
  3. New Avengers #12
  4. Avengers: Millennium Infinite Comic #2
  5. Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #13
  6. Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #14
  7. Iron Man/Thor #1
  8. Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #18
  9. Daredevil Vol 3 #4
  10. Uncanny X-Men #155
  11. X-Men Vol 2 #95
  12. X-Men: True Friends #1
  13. 13.0 13.1 Uncanny X-Men #153
  14. 14.0 14.1 Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1
  15. New Excalibur #14
  16. Ultimate Fantastic Four #24
  17. Avengers #209
  18. 18.0 18.1 Avengers #206
  19. Avengers #207
  20. X-Factor Annual #1
  21. New Avengers Vol 3 #7
  22. Magneto #0
  23. Uncanny X-Men #522
  24. X-Men: Magneto Testament #1
  25. New Mutants #13
  26. S.W.O.R.D. #3
  27. X-Men: Legacy #268
  28. Wolverine and the X-Men #12
  29. New X-Men Annual #2001
  30. Sleepwalker #1
  31. X-Force #34
  32. Longshot #3
  33. Fantastic Four #237
  34. Nova Vol 5 #1
  35. Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord #1
  36. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #93
  37. Thor #617
  38. X-Force #116
  39. Avengers Vol 5 #6
  40. New Mutants Vol 3 #17

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