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Spacescifi

Low Tech First Contact Methods

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Ah, the alien/human language barrier. Scifi often deals with it via a contrived universal translator but there is another way that is risky but effective.

 

I looked up on Cortez and the Aztecs and learned that he rescued spainards who had been sent as missionaries and were held as slaves by the natives.

These spaniards learned the native language, and in turn taught at least one native woman spanish, who ended up serving as Cortez' translator.

 

So if fictional aliens wanna translate all they need is a reentry pod with a parachute and either an alien slave or volunteer. Maximize your chances by sending two or three to various regions with local sentient populations.

Leave them there for two years. Return and take back your agent if still alive. Then use them as teachers/translators, or even as programmers for a universal translator communicator.

Done.

Thoughts?

 

Edited by Spacescifi

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Nothing says alien vocalizations have to be in the range of human hearing or in the physical ability of humans to make the noises. Or vice versa. Your proposed method may have problems. Cortez (a human) only had to deal with other humans and all humans, within reason, can hear and make the same sounds as any other. Observation and attempts to translate mathematical methods seems to me the best starting point. And a good computer/learning algorithm. Given enough time I believe even our modern computers could figure out a good bit. 

Edited by AngrybobH

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2 minutes ago, AngrybobH said:

Nothing says alien vocalizations have to be in the range of human hearing or in the physical ability of humans to make the noises. Or vice versa. Your proposed method may have problems. Cortez (a human) only had to deal with other humans and all humans, within reason, can hear and make the same sounds as any other. Observation and attempts to translate mathematical methods seems to me the best starting point. And a good computer/learning algorithm. Given enough time I believe even our modern computers could figure out a good bit. 

 

For most scifi humanoid aliens it would work. As for the others, they are usually rarer in scifi anyway.

And if they did not use speech? The person sent would still learn how to communice after two years and pass that knowledge on.

Sign language.

4 minutes ago, cubinator said:

What if the aliens communicate by warming up different parts of their body?

 

I hope they have eyes and fingers for sign language.

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One of the rare occasions where Troi made a contribution to a conversation:

 

 

Edited by Shpaget

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15 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

One of the rare occasions where Troi made a contribution to a conversation:

 

 

Wow. I have newfound respect for Troi. In that single minute she seemed smarter than all the other Trek ladies I know of combined. I thought she was just a lady in a catsuit, but in scenes like this I like her far more than T'pol or Seven, who both acted so arrogrant it was disturbing. Troi makes you doubt without any arrogance at all. I would prefer Troi as a teacher over Seven or T'pol anyday. That is besides the fact that T'pol would get fired as soon as she reaches Pon Farr season.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spacescifi

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Everything you wanted to know about low-tech first contact methods, but were afraid to ask.

Spoiler

593714_front.jpg

 

11 hours ago, cubinator said:

What if the aliens communicate by warming up different parts of their body?

No problem, humans have a translator.

Spoiler

Implements-very-similar-to-these-blacksm

 

10 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

I hope they have eyes and fingers for sign language.

They do.
An eye on every finger. Around the mouth.

Edited by kerbiloid

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16 hours ago, AngrybobH said:

Nothing says alien vocalizations have to be in the range of human hearing or in the physical ability of humans to make the noises. 

1aZsQ69.png

, if they've evolved in a planet similar to ours they very well may be in such range due to convergent evolution (same problems, same solutions)

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17 hours ago, cubinator said:

What if the aliens communicate by warming up different parts of their body?

Too low bandwidth, any sort of sign language would have an higher one. 
Voice is the best way to communicate, radio is very little plausible and other require you to see the one you talk with. 
But yes it could at least partialy outside our range of hearing. Worse an alien will probably think very different. 

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To understand our sign language the extraterrestrials should at least have words "where is", "your", "landing site", "who is", "your", "contact", "how many", "have landed", "tell", "password", "navigation system", "try again", "correct password", "not kidding", "co-operation", "will save", "your life".

Otherwise even warming up different parts of their body can't help. They will just not understand the questions.

Edited by kerbiloid

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