Oh my god I had the same thought. The notes in this episode about how Earth works are… different than I imagined.
So American English became the standard language for all of Earth after World War III? Is that the official language of the Federation even now?
There was a comment made by Michael or Saru right then where they said that all the bridge crew spoke English, but beyond the bridge, other sections might not. So it’s not a requirement of the academy that you learn English then?
That latter case actually fits into what I imagined, which was that with the invention of the Universal Translator, nobody needed a “standard language” and everyone spoke whatever. The bridge crew, I imagined, all spoke different languages. Picard might only speak French, Worf always spoke Klingon, etc. Saru’s grumbling about how nobody took other languages would fit into that.
Then I imagined all the times the ship’s gone completely dead across all the Trek shows, where the translator couldn’t be present or working, so, I guess everyone is required to know English. Also, in the Enterprise era, they didn’t have that thing working yet, so they must’ve still just all been speaking English.
Yeah it’s weird.