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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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53 votes
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Identifying the writing inside T'Challa's shoes in this scene

User UNITBlackArchive on Reddit identified the writing (in the Wakandan alphabet that was devised by Hannah Beachler) as heir t'chaka Presumably this is a pun on Air Jordan
Valorum's user avatar
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52 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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46 votes
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What do the Russian scientists say in this scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Their Russian sounds rusty, but it is more or less possible to understand what they say. Before they meet Floyd: Dr. Stretyneva: Ну куда он сейчас уедем? (Grammar mistake: mixing 3rd person singular ...
Georgy Ivanov's user avatar
43 votes
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Are there any changes in the Japanese edition of Harry Potter?

One of the biggest changes they had to make (not just in Japanese, but most other languages) was Hagrid. In the UK, we all recognise his accent as "West Country" and his slang as the kind of thing you'...
DisturbedNeo's user avatar
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31 votes
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What does Toph's wanted poster say?

The translated text results in this: Wanted Authorities are offering a reward of 1000 gold coins for the arrest of this twelve year old girl. She disguises herself as blind, and even ...
Noosrep's user avatar
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27 votes

Identifying the writing inside T'Challa's shoes in this scene

These are letters from the Wakandan alphabet that was made for the film: In that language the shoes say heir (in lowercase). Very cool touch imo. It perfectly describes King T'Challa. Really well ...
Neo Darwin'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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25 votes
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What's with all those "thimbles" in Neuromancer?

The context for both quotes involves drinks served in cups. Thus, the most likely explanation is that they are as they seem, containers for liquid. Why would you call them "thimbles"? Presumably, they'...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
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24 votes
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Does the German movie translation of Lord of the Rings intentionally use 'du' in this way?

Some people in the translation business certainly seem to think so (although I personally could not vouch for them, I just found this on the internet). First, there might not even a mystery to explain ...
Eike Pierstorff's user avatar
22 votes

Was Return of the Jedi released in Japan as Revenge of the Jedi?

The film was released as "Return of the Jedi" but some of the posters had the older title "Revenge of the Jedi". The original teaser trailer for the film carried the name Revenge ...
Vishvesh's user avatar
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22 votes
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How do you write "Amy" and "Amelia" in Gallifreyan?

There is no canonical Circular Gallifreyan. However, you are not totally out of luck. In 2011 a fan by the name of Loren Sherman created a system that has been used by the show on official merchandise ...
amflare's user avatar
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22 votes

American Gods: How is this crucial word translated in non-English translations?

I will deal with the Spanish version, namely the translation by Mónica Faerna. When Shadow ("Sombra") is tied to the tree, and in delirium sees the elephant-headed man playing with a mouse ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
19 votes
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Was Return of the Jedi released in Japan as Revenge of the Jedi?

The writing on the DVD VHD case in your picture says "ジェダイの復讐" (Jedi no fukushu), which indeed means "Revenge of the Jedi." (ジェダイ is "Jedi" spelt phonetically, whereas "復讐" means revenge.) The ...
N. Virgo's user avatar
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18 votes

What do the Russian scientists say in this scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

I can't find a conclusive answer, but here's what I did find: The script is no help - it doesn't even mention the conversation between the Russians before Floyd approaches them, and all it says about ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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18 votes
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What does this inscription on the Infinity Gauntlet mean?

The "writing" appears to be a simple repeating pattern. As you can see from the images below (showing the film prop used in Infinity War), the pattern on the side is a repetition of the ...
Valorum's user avatar
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17 votes
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Why do Witcher books use modern scientific terms?

Biological and medical sciences in the Witcher universe are way past modern level, but this knowledge is mostly kept secret from common people. Mages try to monopolize science and mostly succeed. ...
Mithoron's user avatar
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16 votes
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What does Dumbledore's sign-off translate to?

It translates from Latin to English : Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon Which is the motto of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry 1 This post discusses the motto and possible meanings and ...
Integration's user avatar
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16 votes
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What should this conversation between Tiffany Aching and Preston mean?

She means “if you want to know what love sounds like then listen right now because there’s love right here because I love you.” As for "Přesto", that would be what is known as a pune, or play on ...
OrangeDog's user avatar
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16 votes
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What is the meaning of the Hebrew characters that appear when a soul is absorbed into Ragman's suit?

Daniel Rosman's answer correctly identifies the word אמת (emmet) which is the Hebrew word for "truth". However, there is another Hebrew word in the right panel that is written in Latin characters. In ...
Alex's user avatar
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15 votes
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The electron: "portion" or "torsion" in "Fiat Homo"?

In my (English) copy the electron is defined as "a Negative Twist of Nothingness", which is very close to the French translation. The monks then banter a little bit, asking how could you ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
13 votes

What does Frodo say when he pulls out the phial?

This is explained in JRR Tolkien's letter #211 to a Mrs Beare. Q. What is the meaning of this invocation, and of Frodo’s words in the previous chapter, ‘Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!’? A. Before ...
Valorum's user avatar
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13 votes
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What is the Hong Kong Businessman shouting before he tries to jump out the window?

I was able to contact David Forman ("Hong Kong Businessman") himself: (Click thumbnail for full image) Hello [name obscured] I recall I was taught Mandarin on the day of the shoot but ...
mirrorboot's user avatar
13 votes

American Gods: How is this crucial word translated in non-English translations?

germany Your question intrigued me enough to spend the money for a German translation of "American Gods" that I don't have real use for, especially since it seems to be quite bad - which is ...
Eike Pierstorff's user avatar
12 votes
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Why are 'Geser' and 'Zavulon' transliterated to Gesar and Zabulon?

NOTE: 2018/02 - updaed the answer with more WoG/canon info on the name origins. Zabulon vs. Zavulon: The origin of the name is Old Testament as per the author's off-line interview on rusf.ru; after ...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
12 votes
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In The Cyberiad, how did the letter n manifest in Polish?

The translator for this, alas paywalled, version seems to have selected similar items in Polish beginning with the letter n (thread for needles, etc) Konstruktor Trurl sporządził raz maszynę, która ...
Valorum's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why do the Dursleys have two fireplaces in their home?

Older houses in Britain (and I'm pretty sure in most of the world, certainly Europe) would have had fireplaces in many rooms, indeed in some cases in most rooms - including bedrooms. What is odd is ...
ThruGog's user avatar
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10 votes

What does Dumbledore's sign-off translate to?

Never tickle the sleeping dragon. Draco: Dragon http://www.dictionary.com/browse/draco Dormiens: Sleeping https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dormiens Nunquam: Never https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/numquam#...
Forrest Venable's user avatar
10 votes
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What does Frodo say when he pulls out the phial?

"Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!" Frodo is referring to the star-glass he carried, which contained the light of Eärendil's star, the Silmaril. You might be interested to see the Gateway ...
gef05's user avatar
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