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 Alien Contact

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specialk2121
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PostSubject: Alien Contact   Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:03 pm

When you contact an alien civilization (or vise versus) you will not be able to communicate with them.
YOu would know about them and iteract with them, but you'll have no idea what their saying
Your civilization must then create a translation machine, but until then scholars from your civ willl have to learn the language by themselves
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:11 am

I kinda remember a discussion about this way back when. I think it would involve very advanced mathematics, but I dopnt remember the other requirements for the machine.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:36 am

How would translation be done if one (or both) of the races used body language? Surely that would have to be learned. Which is made even tougher when the other race is more different to you than... An octopus.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:16 pm

This has been covered... somewhere. Basically, since we don't know about the compatability of tech or main mode of communication, it is not safe to assume that alien races will be using radios to transmit vocalized signals, or a written language that is decipherable to us. The only reason that so many human languages are relatively easy to translate is that a lot of them come from the same indo-european root, and other main language branches. Also, human brains are all hardwired similarily. (Despite the fact that a spanish speaker and an english speaker are using different segments of their brains when speaking.)

SETI as a mode of contact is therefore bunk. Until you actually meet another civilization, there's pretty much nothing you can do to figure out how to translate a language, so SETI is there to use math to determine whether radio signals are natural or artificially made.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:58 pm

the machine could search the target species data base, being internet, literature, or spaceship logs, to determine a translation
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:26 am

specialk2121 wrote:
the machine could search the target species data base, being internet, literature, or spaceship logs, to determine a translation

You would first have to analyze their technology to be able to read it's data as it would most probably work quite differently, and even that would be useless if the species is not advanced enough to have electronics.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:37 pm

Or for example, there form of communication is based off of pheromones, and that the written word is merely a word to describe the reaction to that pheromone.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:51 pm

Good point. If the contacted aliens' communication is based on different sense than your species, it would be very hard to get into their language.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:21 pm

First off: No universal translation machines. Just no. Not ever.

Secondly: Depending on how different the two modes of communication are, translation will be tedius process. I suggested a mini-game to help make it less AAAARGH and more OHHEY, but that was shot down.

Basically, translation is just sitting with one of them and giving very simple words, looking for a response. If they're trying to communicate as well, they'll be helping you along the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:55 pm

Also, not all species will be able to communicate with another. Having a deaf pheromone based species communicate with vocal species unable to sniff the pheromone would require creating a whole new language, based on a sense shared by both species.
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PCaddict
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:09 pm

Most languages have some things in common;
Descriptive words would most likely have some things in common, same with noun, etc.
Also, most used words would probably be the shortest. This would help species with the same communication systems learn each others languages easier.

And, maybe species with drastically different modes of communication would just be destine to be enemies. At least until technology has become advanced enough for them to translate, or they've met enough species to be able to recognize similarities in different languages.

Like a species that's your ally could communicate the same way that you do along with another form. They could help you communicate.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:12 pm

Commander Keen wrote:
Also, not all species will be able to communicate with another. Having a deaf pheromone based species communicate with vocal species unable to sniff the pheromone would require creating a whole new language, based on a sense shared by both species.
QFT
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:24 pm

The only idea I can imagine for a universal language is touch based, similar to Braille. Teaching the other race how to use said language would be incredibly difficult.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:24 am

caekdaemon wrote:
The only idea I can imagine for a universal language is touch based, similar to Braille. Teaching the other race how to use said language would be incredibly difficult.
Funny, I thought the exact sme thing. Then I thought about how you would try to teach it...things became awkward for the hypothetical species.... This is really interesting to think about. What is NASA's plan should contact with some form of alien life be discovered? Or do they not have one?
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Poisson wrote:
caekdaemon wrote:
The only idea I can imagine for a universal language is touch based, similar to Braille. Teaching the other race how to use said language would be incredibly difficult.
Funny, I thought the exact sme thing. Then I thought about how you would try to teach it...things became awkward for the hypothetical species.... This is really interesting to think about. What is NASA's plan should contact with some form of alien life be discovered? Or do they not have one?
They have many. They range in ridiculousness, and depend a lot on what kind of life it is. Also, many people outside NASA have plans, also ranging in ridiculousness.
Until you physically meet a species, you're going to have enormous difficulty contacting them. And hacking their database is a circular argument - you would have to know their language, and the language of the programming of their computers, to recieve any data. Before anyone says that computer programming is based on math and is therefore universal, I remind you that our dear computers (I assume we have both mac and PC people here) sometimes need to be programmed in different languages based on what operating system they have.
Braille seems good for a communication after two species have physically met, but language lessons are going to have to start with the stereotypical "point and grunt" excercizes, or something quite similar. To communicate equally, a pair of species is going to have to come up with an interspecies language or some equivalent.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:46 pm

Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
language lessons are going to have to start with the stereotypical "point and grunt" excercizes, or something quite similar.

THe only problem with that is that an alien would not understand if you pointed to apple and said "apple" because they have never seen one before
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:34 am

Obviously you would have to point to things in your surroundings.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:03 pm

specialk2121 wrote:
Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
language lessons are going to have to start with the stereotypical "point and grunt" excercizes, or something quite similar.

THe only problem with that is that an alien would not understand if you pointed to apple and said "apple" because they have never seen one before

The problem is a little bigger than that: They probably would even know what it means when you point at something. They'll just see us extending a long protrusion and curling some smaller ones stuck on the end of it. They probably wont even have things resembling fingers! Who knows how long it would take for another race to work out how we refer to objects in our surroundings.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Well, then you would just touch the thing you want to bring attention to.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:37 pm

This is a late reply, but I was away...

Commander Keen wrote:
Well, then you would just touch the thing you want to bring attention to.

How would you tell them that is the plan?

Anyway... Why are we bothered how we are going to talk with other races at this point? It is much later in the game (a common, and rubbish excuse, IMO), and wont this just end up being a research? Or just have a timer? That, or in a tiny little place somewhere two organisms will be rolling around grunting...
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:26 pm

After a while, they get the idea. Trust me. Unless they aren't trying to communicate, people figure out whats going on. We're all sentient(sapient) here people, eventually we learn.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:28 am

Tenebrarum wrote:
After a while, they get the idea. Trust me. Unless they aren't trying to communicate, people figure out whats going on. We're all sentient(sapient) here people, eventually we learn.

Yes, but as I said, how do we show this is gameplay? A translation research? It seems the best way to do it, although it does leave our discussion about how races would understand each other kind of pointless...
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:54 pm

Well, not exactly the research as we have in the research web, but something similar should work. Each alien species encountered will require it's own research, so just assigning a number of research specialists to the contacted species should be enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:32 pm

Commander Keen wrote:
Well, not exactly the research as we have in the research web, but something similar should work. Each alien species encountered will require it's own research, so just assigning a number of research specialists to the contacted species should be enough.
Keen hits the nail on the head once again.
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PostSubject: Re: Alien Contact   Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:24 pm

US_of_Alaska wrote:
Commander Keen wrote:
Well, not exactly the research as we have in the research web, but something similar should work. Each alien species encountered will require it's own research, so just assigning a number of research specialists to the contacted species should be enough.
Keen hits the nail on the head once again.
QFT
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