Posts tagged talking
Posts tagged talking
Most people have figured out by now that it’s kind of silly for creatures from another planet to speak English. When aliens are talking to other aliens, it’s implied that the words are being translated into English for the viewers. If aliens need to talk to humans, they usually have some sort of translation device with them. Science fiction authors who are serious about portraying things realistically wouldn’t dream of having the aliens land on Earth and just happen to speak the same language.
So, naturally, they avert the horrors of aliens speaking English by having the occasional untranslated sentence of the aliens’ language floating around.
This is like saying “I don’t want my aliens dancing the Charleston, because that’s too human, so I’ll have them do a dance I made up instead.” Yeah, but they’re still dancing.
The aliens will most likely have a method of communication. However, the likelihood that this language is verbal would be astronomically low. (Hee hee, astronomically. That pun was totally intentional.) We have five senses. There are probably obscure methods of communication using the others that I don’t know about, but we verbally talk, we read visually the written word and visually communicate via informal body language and formal sign language, and blind people feel the bumps of braille. Verbal communication happens to be the most widely used. In a species that evolved under completely different conditions than Earth life, the aliens might have special footlike things that cause vibrations in sequence on the ground that are used as communication. (There go the dancing aliens again…) Smell is often ignored. There are even ways that taste could be used as communication. Not to mention the fact that aliens might have entirely different senses. It’s not that alternate forms of communication to speech aren’t used. It’s just that verbal communication is used so often, when it’s only a small step up from aliens speaking English. When you make your aliens, consider giving them a way of talking to each other without making a single sound.
This can also be used for fantasy races or supernatural beings, though there is a bit more justification for giving them speech than there is for extraterrestrials.