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<   No. 3446   2015-12-10   >

Comic #3446

1 X: Very well then! The terrible foe of which I speak is a wholly cyborg race known as the Cybe.
2 Iki Piki: A cyborg race known as "the Cybe"? How unimaginative.
3 X: Hey, in their language the word for "cyborg" doesn't start with "cybe"! It's just a coincidence!
4 Iki Piki: Do they have any weapons other than linguistic improbability on their side?

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It'd be cool to have a galaxy-spanning science fiction series in which the language problem isn't just glossed over for the sake of viewer-friendliness. Where every time you meet a member of an alien species, that chances of them understanding humans, or of being understood by humans, is essentially zero until a long, arduous process of somehow coming up with common terms of communication is gone through. It might take years before two alien species can communicate well enough to get across anything more than the most basic concepts.

This sort of show would obviously appeal to the hordes of xenolinguistics geeks out there! I can't see why it wouldn't be a hit!


A few readers wrote in to suggest various works of science fiction which are concerned with language difficulties. Although neither galaxy-spanning nor a series, the movie Enemy Mine received several recommendations as one in which learning alien languages is a central plot element.

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