Nobody really knows how many languages are used in the Strange Worlds. They range from monosyllabic grunts to intricately structured songs.
Although there were mechanical translation devices, magic spells, and accelerated learning programs, there was no 'universal translator' -- until the Torc.
Nobody is sure who invented the Torc. Several thousand of the devices appeared in the Red, Blue, and Yellow tunnels, each leaning against a door. Each was wrapped in a sheet of engineering paper with the deceptively simple instructions for making a new Torc. The instructions were printed in the dominant language of each door's reality.
Manufacture instructions involved nanotechnology, thaumaturgy, and a small amount of cerebral fluid. The result was a device that would project or receive a speaker's thoughts. This telepathy was selective -- only speech was translated. At that, the spoken word was sometimes imperfectly translated, especially for strange or unknown concepts.
There are other disadvantages. The translation is based on the speaker's understanding of meaning. If the speaker misunderstood the meaning of a word, the faulty meaning would be received by the listener. Since the Torcs only worked on the spoken word, there is no universal written word translator. Torcs don't work with recordings, broadcasts, or telephones. Torcs don't work with robots.