Fictional alien languages — like the one prominently featured in Arrival — are a big part of science fiction world building. One of the staples of creating a believable fictional world that’s different from our own is the careful consideration of what beings from other planets sound like and how they communicate.
The alien language of Arrival is a central part of the film, as is Dr. Louise Banks’s (Amy Adams) attempt to decode it. Unique in that it makes communication and language the focal point of the film, Arrival is nevertheless part of a rich tradition of well-developed fictional alien languages. While some science fiction films and television shows may pass off scrambled words and assorted sounds as alien languages that are “believable enough”, some have created entire language systems to build out their fictional worlds. From Klingon to Kryptonian and from Mandalorian to Na’vi, the approaches to creating a language are radically different, but they all contribute to making their respective fictional worlds feel more real.
Read more: Inverse