6

The heptapods should have a good working knowledge of English given that they're

from 3000 years in the future and they came back to make humans stronger

Was there another reason for them not knowing/using English? Were they forcing humans to learn their language as a team building exercise?

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    Because humanity wouldn't have united if they'd just turned up and said "hi". – Valorum Feb 19 '17 at 0:19
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    Also the heptapods aren't from the future. They see the future. – Valorum Feb 19 '17 at 0:20
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    You have entirely missed the point of the movie if you don't understand why the heptapods want Humanity to learn their language. – DJClayworth Feb 19 '17 at 0:21
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    @DJClayworth - Notably, the reason in the movie is different from the book. In the movie it's to strengthen us for the trials ahead, in the book it's to help us to help them break out of the cycle of fixed time. – Valorum Feb 19 '17 at 0:22
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    How much Summerian do you know? – SJuan76 Feb 19 '17 at 0:29
14

It has already been said in the comments, but just to formalize the answer:

The reason they don't just speak English (or any other human language for that matter) is because they want us to learn their language, so that we gain the ability to perceive time as they do, and will therefore do what it necessary to help them 3000 years from now, to help them with their crisis.

(In fact we know that the Heptapods do know English - at least Costello does - because when Louise is talking to him after the bomb scene, she speaks English and he responds without waiting for a translation.)

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