linguist humor

That Student Of Mandarin Language Feel 

  • you understand all those words separately but not in that sentence
  • people asking you to “just say something in chinese, anything is fine!” 
  • people asking you what’s their name in mandarin and you have to explain that you have no idea and then they get angry
  • having to remember all 7642 meanings of 点
  • you can read whole texts but get panic attacks when someone asks you to write 
  • accidentally offending someone cuz u mispronounced the tone 
  • accidentally saying 不有 instead of 没有 and your teacher looking at you like you just cursed their entire family three 
  • having to explain that cantonese is a different language and that you do not, in fact, speak it
  • seeing a character with double/triple pronunciation and feeling like stabbing yourself 
  • people asking you to translate other people’s badly done hanzi tattoos 

you: intellectuals think the same as everyone else, they just talk differently.

me, an intellectual: Although academic English is well-adapted to the low-context culture in which it is used, its inherent qualities are not sufficient to justify its relative inaccessibility; its use can only be explained as an expression of social status.

Since Cybertronian languages are ultimately transformative, it’s very easy to make names and descriptors referential- they can refer to multiple things at once and thus even simple titles can be extremely descriptive.


Translating this concept into English makes basically everything a pun.

Cybertronian language is effectively entirely puns.

Which explains a lot of names.

if Arrival accurately portrayed linguists

Colonel Weber: You’re at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to translation.

Louise: Sure but I actually examine cross-linguistic morphosyntax, particularly, what ergativity in endangered Mayan languages ca–

CW: haha what how many languages do you speak

L: That’s a common misconception actually, linguists scientifically study lang–

CW: haha ok just translate this alien shit u fuckin nerd