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Every character on Lost speaks some form or variant of a language, with the exception of Vincent. The predominant language spoken on the original broadcasts of the show is American English, though variants of this language, as well as entirely different languages are used, often with English subtitles. Every main character on the show speaks at least some English. Several characters can speak up to four other languages on the show besides English (Naomi, Mikhail, and Danielle).

Characters and languages[]

Below is a list of main and supporting characters who speak languages other than English.

Character Languages
2X08 AnaLuciaIsland
Ana Lucia Cortez
Spanish, English
Ana Lucia primarily speaks English on the island, but she is clearly fluent in Spanish, as shown in a conversation with her mother. ("Collision")
3x11 BteIsCaptive
Beatrice Klugh
English, Russian, Latin
Beatrice primarily spoke English though in an attempt not to be understood by Kate, Locke and Sayid she spoke Russian to Mikhail ordering him to kill her. ("Enter 77") It is likely that Bea can speak fluent Latin, as we know from Juliet that all Others must speak this language. ("Jughead")
Benjamin Linus
English, Turkish, Arabic, Latin
Ben primarily speaks English. However, he was also shown to speak Turkish when he was confronted by two Bedouins, and also speaks Arabic. ("The Shape of Things to Come") It is likely that Ben can also speak fluent Latin, as we know from Juliet that all Others must speak this language. ("Jughead")
Mof carmen
Carmen Reyes
Spanish, English
Carmen Reyes speaks fluent Spanish, and it is her first language. This is evidenced by her mix of Spanish words like basura and use of phrases like Dios mío in an English conversation. ("Numbers")
Charles Widmore
English, Latin
While Widmore almost exclusively speaks English, he was shown to be fluent in Latin, which is the secret language of the Others. ("Jughead")
4x02 excavatingcharlotte
Charlotte Lewis
English, Korean, French
Charlotte primarily speaks English. However, she has been shown to read in several different languages, including French ("Confirmed Dead"), and also speaks Korean, as shown when confronted by Jin. ("Something Nice Back Home")
1x09 rousseau
Danielle Rousseau
French, English, Italian, German, Spanish
Rousseau was first heard speaking French over a distress signal ("Pilot, Part 2"), and it is presumed to be her native language. She also speaks English fluently, and uses it to communicate with the other survivors. She was also shown to know several other languages when questioning Sayid. ("Solitary")
6x01 Japanese Temple leader
Japanese, English
Dogen is an Other in a position of authority at the Temple who speaks Japanese, which is translated to English by Lennon. While he can speak English, he does not like the way it "tastes on [his] tongue."
1x22 eko
English, Yoruba
Though he generally uses English, Eko also speaks another of Nigeria's major languages. This is most likely Yoruba, as "Eko" and his brother's name "Yemi" are both names from traditional Yoruba. ("The 23rd Psalm")
1x09 hurley
Hugo "Hurley" Reyes
English, Spanish
Like Ana-Lucia, Hurley seems to be fluent in both English and Spanish. He is the original owner of the Spanish comic book, and crucially, converses with Isabella. ("Ab Aeterno")
Ilana Verdansky
English, Russian, Latin (possibly)
Even though she primarily uses English, Ilana was able to communicate with a nurse and Jacob in Russian. ("The Incident, Part 1") She understood the Latin sentence Richard answered from her question "What lies in the shadow of the statue?". ("The Incident, Part 2")
5x16 Jacoblocke
Latin, English, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Greek (possibly)
Jacob uses fluent American English to communicate with the Man in Black and most people he brings to the Island. He also spoke Russian while visiting Ilana in the hospital and Korean to Sun and Jin at their wedding. He could understand Dogen's disgruntled muttering (in Japanese) well enough to let Hurley know that he didn't want to know what was said. He also has the ability to (at the very least) read and write Greek as evidenced by his work on the tapestry in his quarters in the statue. ("The Incident, Part 1") His mother language was Latin, learned from his adoptive Mother. ("Across the Sea")
Jin-Soo Kwon
Korean, English
Jin's native language is Korean. He was the only survivor or main character shown to not speak English in any capacity. After his wife revealed that she could speak English ("...In Translation"), he was initially enraged, but finally accepted the fact, and allowed her to begin to teach him. ("Exodus, Part 2") His English proficiency developed quickly, and within three years he was a fluent speaker. ("LaFleur")
3x07 JulietKillsDanny
Juliet Burke
English, Latin
Juliet's primary language is English, though she spoke Latin in "Jughead" when revealing Jones and Cunningham as Others. ("Jughead")
English, Japanese
Lennon is an Other in a position of authority at the Temple who translates Dogen's Japanese.
3X11 PatchyGivesUp
Mikhail Bakunin
English, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Korean, Latin (possibly)
Mikhail generally speaks English, and uses this to communicate which his fellow Others and the survivors. However, he has also used Russian to speak with Beatrice Klugh so that the survivors would not understand their exchange. ("Enter 77") He also was able to understand Naomi's Italian and translate her Portuguese, though he intentionally did so incorrectly. ("D.O.C.") Mikhail is Ukrainian, so it is possible that he also knows Ukrainian.("Enter 77") It is very possible that Mikhail can also speak Latin, as all Others should know this language. ("Jughead") In alt Mikhail speaks Korean and serves as a translator for Keamy while dealing with Sun and Jin. Keamy also points out that Mikhail speaks a total of nine languages, confirming that he is a polyglot in alt too. ("The Package")
Arabic, English
Nadia's native language is Iraq Arabic. ("Solitary") However, she was also seen in America on multiple occasions, speaking English fluently.
4x02 Naomiddon
Naomi Dorrit
English, Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish, Italian
Naomi's primary language is English, and she uses it to communicate with the survivors. However, she also seen speaking phrases in several different languages, such as Portuguese, Chinese, Italian and Spanish. ("D.O.C.")
English, Arabic
While both versions of Omar primarily speak English, alt Omar spoke Arabic to Sayid. ("Sundown")
Mr. Paik
Mr. Paik's native language is Korean. He has never been shown to speak any other languages. ("The Moth")
Richard Alpert
Spanish, English, Latin
Richard's native language was 19th century Spanish.("Ab Aeterno") He taught himself English in anticipation of moving to America. His decades on the island gave him time to reach fluency in English. He also speaks Latin, the Others' secret language, as when replying to Ilana's question "What lies in the shadow of the Statue?". ("The Incident, Part 1")
1X09 SayidFlash
Sayid Jarrah
Arabic, English, German, Spanish
Sayid's native language is presumably Arabic, as he was shown living in Iraq and speaking the language. ("Solitary") However, he also speaks perfect English, and uses this primarily on the island. He also speaks a very small amount of German as seen as his meeting with Elsa in a cafe. ("The Economist") He can also speak some Spanish as he used it while working on the Build our Planet project in Santo Domingo. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
Distress signal
Shannon Rutherford
English, French
Shannon primarily speaks English. She also learned some French, enough to translate the distress signal sent out by Danielle Rousseau. ("Pilot, Part 2")
Sun-Hwa Kwon
Korean, English
Sun's native language is Korean. Throughout most of her life she spoke no other language. However, she soon started learning English under the tutelage of Jae Lee ("The Whole Truth"), and eventually became fluent. However, she kept this a secret from Jin. Several weeks after crashing on the island, Sun revealed to everyone the fact that she spoke English ("...In Translation"), and then began using it almost exclusively, except with Jin, whom she began teaching English after his anger for her betrayal had subsided. ("Exodus, Part 2")



Michael recognizes Naomi's accent ("Meet Kevin Johnson")

Many characters have distinctive accents when speaking English, showing their countries of origin. Charlie speaks with an English accent, and is able to tell that Naomi hails from Manchester as well, judging from her Northern accent. ("Greatest Hits") Michael is able to discern this fact about Naomi as well, presumably judging from his time spent with Charlie. ("Meet Kevin Johnson") Some members of the Hostiles also use British accent while speaking. ("The Lie")  ("Jughead") Desmond uses a clear Scottish accent, an accent also used by many of his flashback characters. Desmond's ex-fiancee Ruth speaks with a slight Irish accent. Charles Widmore, as portrayed by Alan Dale, has an Australian accent.

Captain Gault

Gault's accent is Australian ("Ji Yeon")

Sawyer speaks English with a distinctive Southern accent (having hailed from Alabama). This is easily discernable by his fellow survivors, and sometimes draws insults from other survivors ("redneck man", "hillbilly").

Several characters speak English with a clear Australian accent. Claire is perhaps the most obvious of these, along with her family and most of her flashback characters, including Carole Littleton, Richard Malkin, and Lindsey. Captain Gault and Hendricks from the Kahana also speak with an Australian accent. Most Australian characters feature a New South Wales variation of Australian accents.

Several other characters speak with accents on the show. Jin and Sun speak English with a slight Korean accent, while Danielle Rousseau, as well as Robert and Montand, speak English with a French accent. Eko speaks with a deep, West African timbre, and his brother Yemi speaks English similarly. Frank Lapidus speaks with a Yankee accent. Caesar speaks English with an apparently French accent. Ilana seems to use an as-yet unidentified European accent. Most other characters speak English with an American accent.

It is worth noting that Latin is pronounced with a strong English accent even by supposedly native speakers, understandable however given the peculiarities of the language. The most distinctive difference is vowels. Classical pronunciation gives a unique sound to each vowel (like Italian or Spanish), whereas when Claudia is asked "Ago nomine appelarus?" ("what's your name"), -us in "appelarus" gives away an English accent: "u" should always sound as in "put".

Language barriers[]

Ben clothes tunisia

Ben struggles to be understood by the Bedouins ("The Shape of Things to Come")

Language barriers have caused some issues between characters of the show, because they are unable to understand one another.

The most notable victim of a language barrier was Jin, because he was unable to speak English while his fellow castaways were. Sun had pretended to be unable to speak English, but was later revealed to be able to. ("...In Translation") Jin later began overcoming this barrier with the help of Sun. ("Exodus, Part 2") By three years later, Jin was perfectly fluent in English. ("LaFleur")

Another, more minor, language barrier existed between Ben and the Bedouins after he turned the frozen wheel and ended up in the Sahara desert. While being held at gunpoint, Ben tried to speak English with the two of them, and they appeared to not understand. Ben then began speaking Turkish, asking them wether they knew Turkish (tr: Türkçe biliyor musunuz?). After incapacitating both of them, Ben learned that one did speak at least partial English (Surrender!). He sarcastically noted this, and then knocked out the Bedouin with the butt of his gun. ("The Shape of Things to Come")

In an ironic twist, Sun loses the ability to speak English when she hits her head while running from The Man in Black. Later Jack explains to everyone that even though she speaks Korean she can still understand them, though she quickly overcomes her language barrier by writing in English on a notebook. ("The Package")

Hiding a language[]


Kate learns that Sun speaks English. ("Hearts and Minds")

Another minor recurring theme is a character keeping a language secret. The most notable occurrence was Sun's knowledge of English. She kept this a secret from her husband and the other survivors. She couldn't live with the same language barrier her husband lived with and finally opened up to Michael, whilst trying to defend her husband. ("House of the Rising Sun") After a short period, she unwillingly had to admit the truth to Kate, after it became clear she had understood a comment by Kate in English. ("Hearts and Minds") Her final act was revealing it to everybody at the beach, in order to keep her husband and Michael from fighting. ("...In Translation") Jin at first thought of this as a betrayal, but eventually accepted it as an advantage over his barrier. He used her as translator and as an English teacher.

4x10 KoreanCharlotte

Charlotte is confronted by Jin, revealing that she speaks Korean. ("Something Nice Back Home")

Another minor occurrence was Charlotte's knowledge of Korean. She reacted in a way that made Jin suspicious that she may understand his and Sun's conversation, while journeying to and at the Staff. He finally confronted her, revealing that he saw through her, and demanded a safe place on the Kahana for Sun.("Something Nice Back Home") Jin later used Charlotte as a translator, when trying to communicate with Sawyer's group during the time flashes. ("This Place Is Death")

Secret languages[]


Cunningham and Juliet talk in Latin. ("Jughead")

The Others' have been shown to use multiple secret languages, most notably Latin. The first mentioning of this was when Cunningham and Jones were held hostages by Locke, Sawyer and Juliet, who used to communicate so their captors won't understand them, though they were understood by Juliet, who being a former Other spoke the language and successfully revealed them as Others. Juliet later explained that the reason the Others speak Latin is because they consider it "the language of the enlightened". ("Jughead") Richard Alpert was also shown to speak it, when answering to Ilana's question, "What lies in the shadow of the Statue?" ("The Incident, Part 1")

Beside Latin, the Others have also used Russian to communicate among themselves. It was used by Beatrice Klugh and Mikhail Bakunin when they were captured by Sayid, Locke and Kate at the Flame, Bea used it to ask Mikhail to shoot her, something that he hesitantly does. ("Enter 77") Dogen used Japanese to speak with Lennon even though he spoke and understood English perfectly. Though he claims that he doesn't speak it because he doesn't like the language, his usage of Japanese had the same role as the Others' previous uses of Latin and Russian, as only he and Lennon understood what Dogen said. ("LA X, Part 2")


4x02 medenine

Charlotte and her French translator in Medenine. ("Confirmed Dead")

Many of the characters on the show have worked as translators for others, thus helping them overcome a language barrier.

Some, such as Charlotte's translator, worked as professional translators. ("Confirmed Dead")

The most prominent example are the people that translated English to Jin and Jin's Korean for others. This role primarily belonged to Sun, though after her departure from the Island ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 3"), Jin used Charlotte as his translator revealing to the rest of the survivors that she spoke Korean. ("This Place Is Death") Another prominent example includes the survivors using Shannon to translate Rousseau's distress call and later Shannon helping Sayid translate Rousseau's maps and notes. ("Pilot, Part 2")  ("Whatever the Case May Be")

Distress signal

Shannon listening to Rousseau's signal. ("Pilot, Part 2")

Lennon was an Other who translated for Dogen, though he didn't translate English back to Dogen, who later revealed that he actually spoke the language, though preferred to speak Japanese. ("LA X, Part 2")

In the flash-sideways world, Sayid works as a translator for an oil company ("Sundown"), and Mikhail translates Korean for Martin Keamy in his conversation with Jin and Sun. ("The Package")