Can the Actor feat allow a character to effectively speak a language they don’t know?


I have a player in my game I’ll call “Joe” running a Bard I’ll call “Hansel.”

Hansel has the Actor feat, and does not speak Orc. Hansel listened to an Orc for 1 minute a few adventures ago, a 2nd PC taught Hansel one short Orc phrase, and I allowed Hansel to repeat the new phrase, in Orc, mimicking the voice of the Orc Hansel had just listened to.

Joe has recently expanded this to insist that if the 2nd character now says several Orc phrases over the course of a minute, Hansel can repeat each phrase at will, mimicking the voice of that Orc. Joe believes that Hansel can also rearrange the words to create new phrases, on the fly in conversation with Orcs – and that this can also fool any Orc into thinking it is an Orc from their own War Band, so long as there is a door there to muffle the sound.

Joe claims that anything short of meeting this demand undermines the entire usefulness of the Actor feat, and therefore robs his character of 4 levels worth of adventuring.

Can the Actor feat allow a character to effectively speak a language they don’t know?

I think Hansel could mimic a specific Orc’s voice, after 60 sequential seconds of listening to it speak consistently (though not necessarily persistently), but only using languages Hansel already knows.