Since Starfinder has been released I've been interested in using it as a system for an exploratory kind of campaign. Imagine West Marches meets Star Trek. There's a lot I and the people I'm playing with like about it for this case, but one particular thing that I'm struggling with right now is how to enable communication between alien races.
In traditional Pathfinder, D&D and a lot of other fantasy systems, there is often one language spoken by almost everyone (common), and then there is often a race specific language for each race. It's rare that you don't find another intelligent character that you or someone in your party can't communicate with, and in the few cases you can't, it can be presented by the GM as a cool puzzle to solve, or an interesting way of hiding information.
In the Starfinder handbook, it lists 32 languages and mentions that there are many more. Since the campaigns take place over the vastness of space there are many people on many worlds which would have no reason to share any language with any of the players. In fact there is a good reason they wouldn't even know common because they haven't had enough (if any) interaction with people from the pact worlds. This makes it difficult for the players exploring a world. They land on a planet, but have no way of communicating with the inhabitants. Sure, maybe the language barrier might be a cool problem to solve the first one or two times, but this will easily start to grate if the players have this problem every single session.
My question is, what ways can I enable my players to communicate with the many aliens they won't share languages with?
Answers can be from Starfinder or ported from Pathfinder, homebrew, or GM techniques. It would be nice if there remains a possibility for language barrier situations, for it to be available to low level characters and for it to be something which doesn't have limits (e.g. not "can only be used for 10 minutes a day") though I know that all of this is unlikely. I'm really just looking for options here.