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Old February 19 2014, 09:00 AM   #1
QuarkforNagus
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Independence Day Language Issue

*spoiler alert!

In the movie Independence Day, there is this scene where the alien wraps it a tentacles around Data's throat and starts talking through him.

What's the explanation for how the alien understands English, given that his species likely communicates telepathically?
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Old February 19 2014, 11:21 AM   #2
The Festivus Awakens
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

You answered your own question. Their ability to communicate telepathically allows them to understand the thoughts and therefore the language of the person they are speaking to or through, as in the case of Dr. Okun (Spiner).

Additionally, the aliens had been scouting our planet for decades, had abducted people for experiments, and had completely infiltrated our satellite and communications systems, so they would have learned our languages then, as well.
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Old February 19 2014, 02:52 PM   #3
QuarkforNagus
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

I never thought about how long they'd probably been watching the humans.

Thanks!
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Old February 19 2014, 04:17 PM   #4
sojourner
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

In addition, when Will Smith says "Welcome to Urf!", turns out it translates to "welcome to Earth".
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Old February 19 2014, 04:22 PM   #5
JarodRussell
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-famous...ncorrectly_p2/

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfPWpEKhgfk
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Old February 19 2014, 04:53 PM   #6
sojourner
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

sooo missing the joke.
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Old February 20 2014, 12:20 AM   #7
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

The joke is that you're perpetuating a racial stereotype?
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Old February 20 2014, 01:29 AM   #8
sojourner
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

I never saw it as racist, just a by product of how the scene plays out. I've never actually heard the word pronounced that way in any other context except for this meme. I think even though Smith actually says "earth" when you listen carefully to the scene, it gets remembered as "urf" because he spends part of the movie saying lines while chewing on a cigar producing similar mispronunciations.

Sorry if you think it's racist. I never saw it that way.
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Old February 20 2014, 01:43 AM   #9
Olive, the Other Reindeer
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

A bit off-topic, but I'm reminded of the 1964 comedy The Brass Bottle. Early in the picture, there's a scene where the freshly liberated, two-thousand-year-old genie Fakrash (Burl Ives) briefly presses his hand against Tony Randall's forehead and then announces: "Thy tongue is as strange to me as thy appearance. I took the moment to learn to speak it."

Obvious question: If the genie learned English from reading Tony Randall's mind, why is he using 17th-century pronouns?
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Last edited by Olive, the Other Reindeer; February 20 2014 at 10:54 AM.
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Old February 20 2014, 12:37 PM   #10
MacLeod
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

Whilst words like Thee, thine, thy etc.. are somewhat archaic doesn't preclude them from being used occasioanlly. In the case above it could be a case for shorthand that the character using them is old or not from this time.
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Old February 20 2014, 08:28 PM   #11
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

Also, "whilst".

Mark
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Old February 22 2014, 03:38 PM   #12
Lonemagpie
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Re: Independence Day Language Issue

I've never even heard of people thinking Smith says "Welcome to Earf" or "Urf" in that movie! I mean, he's not a fucking Mockney or Essex Girl...

(Rose Tyler I could absolutely imagine saying that!)
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