Arrival : Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images?

Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images?

Wouldn't it have been easier to start communicating putting images and words/alien written communication alongside each other initially?

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

You're assuming they have vision as we understand it. Do they even have any vision? Maybe they draw (and detect) their writing chemically (or acoustically, magnetically, tactically, etc.). In any of those modes, the concept of what we call "images" would be (pardon the pun) alien to them.

I'm not saying the screenwriter(s) had the same ideas. But if we're talking about communicating with a species that has absolutely no connection with life on Earth, then radically different methods of interacting with the environment need to be considered.





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Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Of course they have vision. They were pointing to the bomb, comprehending movement, putting their tentacles on the glass wall when the humans were doing it.

They knew that humans can see their ink writing, as they were projecting it in front of them.

So the above begs the question: why didn't they just show images of their world (or better yet movies of their world) to humans to bring them up to speed?

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images


Of course they have vision.
In the movie, the heptapods could have detected several of the things you mentioned without vision. We don't know the composition of the barrier wall (it's on their ship), it may be nothing like glass, and could therefore possibly transmit sounds, chemicals, etc. without any loss of information.

Think about how many aquatic Earth animals use senses other than vision (dolphins using echolocation, shark sensitivity to electrical emissions, etc.). The aliens in Arrival could have easily detected Ian walking by sonar, and possibly 'read' Louise's writing by thermal and/or chemical detection.

As far as projecting "movies" of their world: It could be entirely possible that what we understand as movies (multiple still images projected in sequence) may not work with an alien race that doesn't have eyes like most Earth vertebrates. Likewise, even if the aliens can 'see', alien "movies" may not display motion to human eyes.

If we ever really encounter an alien race, we can't assume anything. Their evolution will be entirely unrelated to ours.





On IMDb, nobody knows you're a (I said nobody knows!).

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Well they did, didn't they? As soon as language experts came on the scene.

Or did you expect M4 carrying jarheads to do it?

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Just putting images alongside would be confusing, that's why they show physical demonstrations like "Ian Walks" instead of showing a picture of a man walking…

Also, I think the point of the movie, in my opinion, was that direct translation does not mean understanding, as evidenced by that sanskrit bit and the "weapon" parts. They needed her to understand the dynamics of their language, then she could have similar thought patterns and therefore reprogram her brain to see time as non-linear. The movie suggests that language provides a system that predicates our thinking style.

1984 also touches on this idea with "newspeak."

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

That's because they are *beep* lazy. A proactive alien would probably do his homework and learn the freaking languages of the planet he is counting on to save their lives in the future.

That's why.

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Not speaking English could be the fastest way to make a human to learn their language and start thinking in it, which was their ultimate goal.

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Thinking in a foreign language takes years of training. And even if you use a foreign language for decades and basically fluent, you will still revert to your native language in your head for some things.

Then again, it's how Hollywood thinks linguistics and languages work, so don't expect anything to be even remotely correct.

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

The whole idea of the movie went past you…

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Nonsensical plot aside, the communication plot itself was highly inconsistent.

These are clearly aliens who can certainly see light and perhaps hear sound. They are quick on the uptake and learn sufficiently well to share advanced concepts with Adams through a series of rings. That in itself proves that despite all the hoopla they have a written language - in which case their technology should presumably have cracked English long before Adams struggled with her rings.

In the alternative if they were communicating through telepathy - and it certainly seemed that way - there's no reason that could not have been employed sooner , to greater effect.

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Aliens' goal was to teach a human to think in their language and not to establish communication. Speaking English could've been harmful to their mission.

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Exactly, wonder if some of these trolls have even watched the movie? Certainly they have understood very little.

Re: Why didn't aliens/humans start communicating with the help of images

Most images cannot be defined by one word alone. A picture of a leafy tree, for example, could mean tree, or plant, or summer, or green, or life, or nature, or some random emotional attachment that humans put on trees, and so on. For an alien, the tree image could have even more meanings or misconceptions.

Also, letters are images that represent sounds.
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