Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Alien Linguist

Start training people before we need them
  [vote for,

If we ever come into contact with intelligent aliens (a big if, I know) they may not use a spoken language. Although we can't predict how they will communicate, the more languages a person knows the easier it is for them to learn a new language. Also, having more varied languages would make recognizing a new language as a language easier.

Possible mediums for constructed training languages could be: tones, touch, colors, or patterns. Some of these would require artificial aids. Natural languages such as a sign language could also be useful.

Due to the amount of time necesary for implementation, waiting for contact wouldn't work well.

Tranai, Feb 26 2004

Cheeky self-promotion http://www.halfbake..._20based_20language
[Arby, Oct 04 2004]

Francois Truffaut's After Hours Gig http://www.american...ews/Plans-32424.jpg
Been there; Done That; Got the Close Encounters DVD [jurist, Oct 04 2004]

You don't need one with this... http://www.halfbake...versal_20Translator
Universal Hieroglyphics Translator [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]

Overbaked http://groups.yahoo.com/group/overbaked
The place where most of the annos here belong. [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]


       Nothing to do with Aer Lingus or litle green men called leprechauns or learning Erse, then. Seems like an opportunity missed.
jurist, Feb 26 2004

       Any alien species that's come across the vastness of space to meet us will no doubt have something worked out already. We can just sit back, eat fruit, and fling poo. The aliens will figure us out.   

       But....once we're in the position to travel those kinds of distances for ourselves, we'll need something like you suggest - a kind of "universal translator".
TIB, Feb 26 2004

       1 Video, Hologram, Sound... and the artificial reality are powerful mediums of communication.   

       2 Numbers... are universal names.   

       Use 2 to count the objects and actions presented with 1, and you'll have a universal language of numbers.
Inyuki, Feb 26 2004

       No you won't, you'll have a really elaborate dumbshow. It would be very hard to communicate an ordinary idea to another person with nothing more than such a system. When it comes to aliens who have little idea of what any of your images mean, it'd be hopeless.
Monkfish, Feb 26 2004

       una,oxen: to quote the President, who you're having such a tough time understanding:   

       And the people that did this, they will hear all of soon.   

       Plainly said, I think. And doesn't have to be parsed for the meaning of word "is".   

       I would really vastly prefer it if this site was not used as a forum to ridicule any current political leaders. Not from a censorship point of view, but from a flame war point of view. That is just my opinion, of course.   

       And let me assure you, in a somewhat rambling sentence, that perhaps no more than, but also no less than, fifty percent of the US Population, does know and support exactly what the President is saying.
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       There's a difference between knowing what he's saying and supporting his policies. You may be right that around 50% of voting USAians support Bush, but that's not the same as understanding him.
PeterSilly, Feb 27 2004

       oxen -- I'm no moderator, feel free, I just think it's both pointless and unnecesarily upsetting.   

       PeterSilly: I don't get it. Understanding him as his phsychoanalyst? Understanding his hidden motives? Understanding his syntax? What?
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       I'm trying here :)
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       UnaBubba: sure, that's why I said "feel free" later.   

       But we self censure (sp intended) here all the time -- just try to post a HalfBakery modification idea, or god forbid, one on suicide. I was considered a troll for posting an idea on corporate voting.   

       I recall receiving a "shut up, shut the fuck up" comment over one of those threads, to the point I considered leaving the HalfBakery. So let's not pretend that all ideas receive equal free speech treatment here.   

       Free speech is important, I'd be happy to debate the President's policies anytime, anywhere . I don't think this is the best forum, as it's typically off topic and not germane to the purpose of the site.   

       You shared your opinion, I shared mine -- and we certainly didn't impress any alien linguists and are probably both annoyed.   

       I also don't get why you guys get off on denigrating the President -- that doesn't start the debate off in a healthy direction . Your comment at the top is certainly harmless banter, but putting it here makes it an inside joke -- except that I'm inside here too.   

       And when with a group of my friends, I prefer to laugh at the jokes and find them funny. That's how I view the HalfBakery, and putting political comments here, especially ones that are not real debate but are "look at that moron holding the NUCULAR button", makes it harder.
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       Taken most literally (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Ken Lay are the puppeteers) -- this is simply a conspiratorial view of history that I do not share.   

       Taken more liberally (no pun intended), the President is an embodiment of a "meme" -- that's what representative goverment is about. As such, this meme has had a practically perfect record as far as those of us who voted for him are concerned, even if he does pronounce it nucular.
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       I take it you own some Texas oil ?
normzone, Feb 27 2004

       // (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ken Lay and Dubya) = The nucular family.   


       normzone: yes, I'm rich, but not Texas Oil rich. I do hope to be Redmond, WA rich some day, but I'm still working on it. :)
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       hey president, prime minister!?! - its just a job!   

       bet they couldn't do mine!   

       any way back to the aliens, please...
po, Feb 27 2004


       I can deal with the 10K because I've already gotten around the luxury car tax by buying two luxury SUVs.   

       Points for Tuscany, I assume you got that from the street name, cute. Can't fucken believe what they'll let out on google. Did you search uspto.gov?
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       Bash out some prime numbers. I have seen (most of) Contact. Its the only language that they understand.
gnomethang, Feb 27 2004

       First of all, as a representative of the beer-loving trekkie community (a surprisingly large and influential community I might add) I would like to note that in Enterprise the attractive Hoshi is an "exolinguist" which is basically this job description. You therefore get my croissant for wanting to implement training beforehand. And as a second part of this post I would like to throw in my two pence to the flame war. I agree that this is an open forum, but at the same time, poor bush gets a hell of a lot of criticism and I wouldn't want to see what would happen if a lot of his critics were president. War time leaders can't be popular with everyone, but he didn't start the war (I am not just talking about iraq). At the same time this is OT cuz the bakery should be used for half baked (or half assed) ideas and not politics.
brewer, Feb 27 2004

       That said, it wouldn't be half so much fun if most of his defenders weren't from the " He's the president, so you gotta support him " camp.   

       Just as long as he doesn't develop an ability to get young interns to give him blowjobs, then we'd lynch him, right ?
normzone, Feb 27 2004

       Listen, I don't wanna get all testy and political. Thing is though it seems to me that liberal Bush bashing is mostly just a bunch of personal attacks on bush himself or even just his accent. Sure... he says nucular I know... OK, get over it. But instead of valid debate over his policies, which do widely reflect the opinion of his voters for the most part, I mostly here what basically amounts to "he's a dumbass, and conservatives are all a bunch of nazi pigs". His supporters usually do not lower themselves to that level. I like the guy, I don't like everything he does. For example I am strongly for gay marriage. On the other hand I am against gun control, you just can't have it all.
brewer, Feb 27 2004

       Please climb off your high horse. It's just not right to be saying things like //instead of valid debate over his policies// and //he didn't start the war// at the same time. Please wander over to Overbaked (link), which is more appropriate for such discussion, if you would like to continue this.
Worldgineer, Feb 27 2004

       reensure -- yes I do like butter pecan ice cream.   

       Worldgineer -- you realize that this is all Newtonian mechanics -- which is what I pointed out in my first annotation. For what it's worth, I'll try to put my fork in it.
theircompetitor, Feb 27 2004

       See "Footfall", Larry Niven. If we ever do meet the neighbors, science fiction writers are the first ones we'll want to call.
normzone, Feb 27 2004

(Hello everyone) Please forgive my keyboard, it's Earthor and thus specialized for Earthor stuff.

       No one ever considers emf, pherimones, quantum linking or the halfbakery as a means of extraterrestrial communication.
sartep, Feb 28 2004

       normzone: hmm, I don't know. Impossible to know where they'll land on the scale of incomprehensibility between Star Trek and 2001 or Contact. S.F. writers have imagined many near incomprehensible societies, but they may be just as surprised as everyone else.   

       A lot also hinges on what we find, if anything, elsewhere by us -- Europa, Titan, etc. If we find RNA/DNA based lifeforms, then the chances for eventual communication increase.   

       As do the chances that we will be eaten :)
theircompetitor, Feb 28 2004

       Don't build your hopes up too much. While there are many fascinating things that can boggle the imagination, some of us could be more boring than that.
sartep, Feb 29 2004


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