65 votes
Accepted

What is the linguistic challenge Louise uses in the beginning of "Arrival"?

The question Louise Banks poses is as follows: DR. BANKS: Before you commit to him… ask him the Sanskrit word for “war” and its translation. It’s a way of challenging the other linguist’s ...
Adamant's user avatar
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51 votes

What is the linguistic challenge Louise uses in the beginning of "Arrival"?

(There is a TL;DR at the end for those who don't care about Sanskrit or grammar.) Adamant's answer is pretty excellent, but as a holder of a BA in Sanskrit & Linguistics, perhaps I can add ...
Au101's user avatar
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26 votes

In Arrival (2016) — how come she has "visions" early in the film?

First things first: there is no time travel. Learning the alien language alters the way you perceive time, allowing you to experience "memories" of future events. It's as much time travel as ...
Steve-O's user avatar
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25 votes
Accepted

In Arrival, why wasn't this event avoided?

I've added the snippet from the screenplay of when Abbott saves Louise and Ian. The reason the heptapods did nothing was because they couldn't do anything. In the source novel, Story of Your Life by ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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25 votes
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Lack of translation in Arrival

"In war there are no winners, only widows." I can help you with the second half of your question, concerning General Shang's wife's last words. According to Arrival screenwriter Eric ...
Praxis's user avatar
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19 votes

What is the location of Dr. Louise Banks's house?

In-universe location. The script and film are intentionally vague on the subject. Louise appears to be an American national (and her students have American accents) which would imply that she lives ...
Valorum's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

Are there any tools or code for analyzing Arrival logograms?

The analysing part: Christopher Wolfram, who was in charge of analysing the alien language, did a stream1 explaining the code he used. Update: I have contacted the ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

Does learning the Heptapod language remove the ability to exercise free will?

I don't think this question is answerable for sure within the context of the information we received in the film; however, I'm going to tentatively say: No, Louise is not immortal Being able to access ...
Werrf's user avatar
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16 votes

Why doesn't Louise remember this conversation?

Personally, I interpreted her surprised expression in this scene to be a form of "soliloquy" for the audience's benefit. ie: Something the audience sees, but other characters in the movie don't. Of ...
Steve-O's user avatar
  • 6,568
16 votes
Accepted

Why Did Louise's Husband Leave Her?

Her husband left her because he found out that she knew about their daughters death but did nothing to try and prevent it. HANNAH Are you gonna leave me like Daddy did? Louise snaps back to ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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14 votes

Why don't the heptapods know English?

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 ...
Steve-O's user avatar
  • 6,568
13 votes

What is the location of Dr. Louise Banks's house?

Here is the Streetview of the house. It's in L'Île-Cadieux, Québec. Film: It would appear that the interior was also used. Note that the side window also points toward a small inlet, visible in ...
Andrei's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

In Arrival, why does Louise share this information about her daughter?

This quote from the novella the movie is based on ("Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang) explains the nature of the heptapod's language and determinism: For the heptapods, all language was ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

Do Heptapods have a life expectancy of more than 3000 years?

We have no way to know the heptapods life expectancy from the movie. There might be many reasons why they know 3000 years into the future. Their language might confer them more powers than Louise ...
CyberClaw's user avatar
  • 1,424
9 votes

In Arrival (2016) — how come she has "visions" early in the film?

ref: Arrival Explained That first scene we see, if you pay attention to the narration, Louise is recollecting the events from their Arrival. It's not like she's dreaming or seeing those visuals. ...
John's user avatar
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9 votes

Does learning the Heptapod language remove the ability to exercise free will?

Your immortal assumptions are at best a guess. Nothing points to that fact. There is a single timeline running through the movie, and the past/future is presented always as flashbacks and dreamlike ...
CyberClaw's user avatar
  • 1,424
9 votes

Does learning the Heptapod language remove the ability to exercise free will?

The book explains things much better. The Heptapods see their own personal timeline as a whole. Humans see only one sliver at a time, of course--the present. In the book that the movie is based on, ...
John's user avatar
  • 306
8 votes

Does learning the Heptapod language remove the ability to exercise free will?

When I saw the movie, I thought it was fairly explicitly saying that the future could be changed, and the future was not fixed. Thinking back, I got this mostly from the line of dialogue where Louise ...
Megha's user avatar
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8 votes

In Arrival, why does Louise share this information about her daughter?

Ian knows that Louise can see the future due to having learned the Heptapod language. (If not at first then surely by the time she publishes her book on the subject.) Therefore: Knowing that he ...
Steve-O's user avatar
  • 6,568
8 votes

Why the 10-minute military alert/signal tone in the movie Arrival?

The screenplay indicates that it's the Shell that is making the tone. It appears to be warning them that their communication window (the time they can spend in the ship) is about to occur. COLONEL ...
Valorum's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

What disease was referenced in Arrival?

The disease referred to here is something equivalent to a rare form of cancer, which kills her daughter. She in fact asks Ian Donnelly, what would he do? Dr. Louise Banks: If you could see your whole ...
Vishvesh's user avatar
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7 votes

Was General Shang also affected?

The movie Arrival is hardly the first science fiction story where the writer(s) took Sapir-Whorf off in a direction that would be considered magic by some (I prefer "higher order reality"). The most ...
Donald.McLean's user avatar
6 votes

What disease was referenced in Arrival?

The nature of the disease is irrelevant. All that we need to know is that Louise knew her daughter would die of it before she was even born, having "remembered" it happening. This was the reason Ian ...
Daniel Roseman's user avatar
6 votes

Why Did Louise's Husband Leave Her?

The other questions touch on the dialogue but the answer, here, is really the crux of the movie itself. I added spoilers, since there's no way to talk about it otherwise As to the question
Machavity's user avatar
  • 51.8k
5 votes

Why doesn't Louise remember this conversation?

My personal opinion is that the Louise in the future was caught by surprise. Perhaps the future Louise goes to lots of formal dinners and didn't recognize the Chinese General at the time. I'm sure you'...
David's user avatar
  • 111
5 votes

What does this particular logogram from "Arrival" mean?

The Wolfram people have also published all the logograms along with the code they used, on GitHub (you can download the source code as an archive along with images). Each .jpg file is signed, so I ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
  • 20.5k
4 votes

Are there any tools or code for analyzing Arrival logograms?

The Art and Science of Arrival factbook gives us a translation guide for 18 common words. There were, we learn, around 100 words that were generated as a vocabulary and a sophisticated computer ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 691k
4 votes

Why Did Louise's Husband Leave Her?

Her husband haven't left her, yet, but he will. She had visions of her future self with her daughter being treated for cancer. In future, her husband, Ian leaves her when he comes to know about ...
Tango Alpha's user avatar
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3 votes

Lack of translation in Arrival

We see Louise's half of the call with General Shang in the screenplay; "General, I'm calling from the American site. Your wife spoke to me in a dream. She said you'd help save the world by being ...
Valorum's user avatar
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