What Do The Aliens Really Say?

I like watching through old TV series on DVD… no commercials… they are on when I want them to be… continuity… no commercials… I can watch them at a higher speed… no commercials….

Right now I am watching through Stargate-SG1.  Fun.

I like the way we are preached at through the really sophisticated plots – so complex that I can actually read Ambrose in Latin while they are on – about environmentalism and the dire effects of organized religions. 

I also like the way nearly all aliens speak American English.  I comforts me somehow that when the real invasion takes place, we’ll be able to understand the evil whims of our alien overlords.

I also like the way these folks can translate all ancient alien writings… and there always are some and they are always really weird.

So, I was delighted to see on Astronomy Pic of the Day a sample … well… here it is.




1 doz eggs
grape jelly
sandwi[xx] meat
that red < stuff >
get well card for Bill

wash car
pick up dry cle[xxxx]g
lu[xxx] with Beefy



I dunno…

Okay…. maybe that wasn’t it.

Perhaps you have your own version. 

Here is the real explanation from Astronomy Pic of the Day:

A Cosmic Call to Nearby Stars
Credit & Copyright: Yuvan Dutil & Stephane Dumas

Explanation: If Earth received this message from deep space, could we decode it? The people from the Cosmic Call project sent the above image as the first page of a longer message. The message was broadcast toward local stars by radio telescope during the summer of 1999. Another message was sent in 2003. The single-dish, 70-meter diameter telescope that send the messages is located in Ukraine on the Crimean peninsula near the town of Yevpatoria. This first page of the Cosmic Call 1999 message, shown above, involves only numbers and so is easier for puzzle solvers to decode than a more famous message broadcast toward distant star cluster M13 in 1974. (The solution is here.)


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Zyphane says:

    Of course it’s easy to understand alien writings, they simply use now-dead Earth languages!

    Heck, the all-mighty Ancients spoke Latin. 10,000 years ago.

  2. Zyphane says:

    Of course, that means the Ancients merely had an alien looking version of a rather unexpectedly modern Latin alphabet…


  3. Julie says:

    We’re big McGyver fans here, despite the silly plots—at least McGyver was an anti-Communist—what’s Richard Dean Anderson like in Stargate?

  4. Tradster says:

    Do the aliens’ languages include “ineffable”?

  5. Zyphane says:

    The characters evolve greatly over the ten seasons, but a lot of the early episodes feature RDA’s Colonel O’Neill and his practical, military-minded solutions butting heads with Michael Shank’s Daniel Jackson and his idealistic, anthropologist-minded solutions. “Well, we could just blow it up.” “Buuuuut Jaaaaack, what about the dumb, stupid natives?” “Sigh, I suppose we could find a less explode-y method.”

  6. Tradster: Do the aliens’ languages include “ineffable”?

    I can say.

  7. Antonius says:

    Colonel O’Neill (two L’s) is probably one of my favorite characters ever, wit and leadership. He is a good moral character I feel because despite his tendency to want to blow things up, [But… that’s the good part!] he always holds up his end of the bargain even if his superiors disagree and try to screw it and he never leaves a man behind, even if it is alien trying to evade the Goa’uld (doesn’t Apophis look like a certain world leader now?). Rumor has it that the next SG-1 based movie is going to be heavily an O’Neill piece, which would be awesome. And what I liked most about SG-1 is that it is mostly a safe show to watch, the pilot episode had nudity in it and a few curses here and there through the run on Showtime, but overall good, clean, and fun entertainment.

  8. Athelstane says:

    Hello Fr. Z,

    I also like the way these folks can translate all ancient alien writings… and there always are some and they are always really weird.

    Seems only fitting since the Air Force can also build and deploy intergalactic space cruisers after just a few years of exposure to alien technology – and without blowing up the federal budget, no less.

    But it’s still fun. Just don’t think too hard.

  9. Athelstane: Exactly. That’s is why they are so useful!

  10. Antonius says:

    Athelstane, that reminds of a line from Independence Day (also from the creators of the big screen Stargate), where the president asks where the funding for Area 51 comes from, and Judd Hirsch’s character says “What you think they really pay 20,000 dollars for a hammer, 50,000 for a toliet seat.”

  11. MargaretMN says:

    The show kind of jumped the shark in the last couple of seasons, IMHO but it was fun while it lasted. Some of the story arcs were quite strange regarding religion and mythology, like the writers grew up on those Joseph Campbell Bill Moyers specials on PBS or something. That exact combo of superficiality and preachiness.

    We never got into Atlantis, the spin off series but we may watch it eventually thanks to the miracle of dvds and/or hulu.

  12. Maureen says:

    Well, the problem with Stargate:SG1 was that, essentially, it was all about “Moses and Aaron kill all the false gods of Egypt and free their people, except with the help of the USAF
    instead of Jethro”, but not everybody on the production staff was clear on this.

    So yeah, they were very bold about sex and violence, and they did reasonably good techno jargon (except when it came to linguistics, of course). But they were too scared to have a chaplain, even though they really needed such a character for story and logic purposes — because then they’d have to deal with actual religious issues.

  13. PNP, OP says:

    You guys might be interested in some of the Earth’s alternative alphabets: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/alternative.htm

    Considering how I struggle with Italian while living in Rome and with Latin while living as a Dominican, I will let the lingo-geeks among you decide which alphabet is preferable.

    Fr. Philip, OP

  14. Bill White says:

    I’ve got it! “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma”

  15. jaykay says:

    It’s probably a good approximation of what the new translations of the Missal will look like to progressives? Y’know, all the big hard words.

  16. Ann says:

    Hubby and I watched our way though SG1 and it was really fun. Then Hubby purchased Babylon 5 and I LOVE that show. Never watched it when it was on, but watching it now, one or two episodes each evening with hubby and he also got some movies and there are extra features that I shall watch once I have watched the entire series. Much better than average.

    I also like it that all the aliens learned English. :-) either that, or perhaps they have babel fish in each person’s ear?

  17. michigancatholic says:

    Hold on, Fr Z’s going to be translating Klingon next!

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