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Published 2 years ago with 4 Comments

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  • Bastou (edited 2 years ago)

    Ted Chiang's short story, Story of Your Life, on which Arrival is based, is available for free as a PDF (link). It's about 40 pages and can be read in about 2 ½ hours. I can't recommend it enough, no matter your tastes in books (it touches sci fi, longuistics, philosophy, family life, relationships, time, mother-daughter love, parental difficulies, etc.).

    I read it and then shed a tear, not because of the emotion of the story (although there's also that), but purely because of the magnificent way it is written and how it puts the way we perceive the world in perspective. I called it a literary orgasm; such an experience I believe I've never felt before reading anything.

  • Bastou

    How do you think Europeans managed to understand abiriginal people everywhere they colonized?

    • ekyris (edited 2 years ago)

      Well sure, learning a distinct human language without an intermediary one has been done tons of times in human history... However, the big question with extraterrestrials is, "how do they communicate?". There's no reason they wouldn't use something other than forcing air through a flexible aperture in order to communicate with each other. As the article only briefly touches on, we have no idea how 'necessary' what we think of as language would be for other complex organisms/civilizations.

      • Bastou

        Of course. One example is very well described in the short story by Ted Chiang, on which Arrival is based. It's a fascinating story and well worth a read, whether you are interested in linguistics or not.

        And it's not said we could communicate with aliens, it all depends if we are able to perceive their language.

        All I'm saying is that the fact two people don't share a common language doesn't mean they can't learn each other's language. That was more an answer to the question asked in the sibtitle of this article than really adressing the hypothetical meeting with aliens.

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