Wednesday, 15 March 2017
The Meteor entered an extragalactic planetary system in order to visit a race of hydrogen-breathers but instead crashlanded on another, terrestroid, planet. Captain Argens, with some knowledge of the hydrogen-breathers' language, meets a native who also has some knowledge of that language which comprises gestures as well as sounds.
neither has a large vocabulary;
their common vocabulary is even less;
they know dialects from different periods;
the language of a race different from either of theirs is now filtered through different body types, cultural patterns and even instincts.
This makes communication difficult. I venture that it would make it impossible. The British sf writer, Bob Shaw, once criticized American authors for making aliens speak like Harvard professors, adding that he never presented inter-species conversations in any of his own works.