1. Josh

    When I first saw this episode, I scoffed at Tamarian language. It seemed so restrictive. Strangely, a Tamarian-esque language doesn’t feel quite so bleak anymore. Thank you for your article.

    • I think you’re right. The origins of the meanings we associate with words are arbitrary. Hence, there can be no “universal translator” which does not already know all of the “meanings” of all words in all languages and their mappings to all other words.

  2. anon

    good article-i agree with the concept totally-i am guilty of this process too. Linguistics and its evolution, adaptation, the vernacular, processing language, semiotics, mimetics, all very interesting fields

  3. rex chirot

    I’ve been struggling with these ideas for a long time as well. Written and spoken language are only the primary forms of communication because they are the most efficient and the easiest to teach and utilize. Technology will change this. Advice animal memes are a fantastic way of creating and iconographic touchstone that communicates a wealth of information, and towards a wider audience, more efficiently than video, or spoken language, or text alone are able to do. That is solely for these types of situations: universal concepts which occur in highly specific episodes.

    I imagine that the next great evolutionary leap in communication will be in brain computer interfaces that allow us to communicate from one consciousness to another, or to many simultaneously. Trying to imagine how this would work is difficult because I can only envision it through the brain I have now, and the technology I use. I would assume that it would be akin to assembling a sort of powerpoint presentation in my own mind. This would consist of text, video, and images which I would then broadcast to another consciousness.

    This is almost certainly not how such communication would occur. When computers communicate they don’t type out text to be read by one another. When I recall information my brain doesn’t have to replay a video in my minds eye. Direct brain-to-brain communication is impossible for me to imagine because I have no examples to compare it to. I only know that it would be entirely unlike our current ways of communicating.

    The way that my mind works now, I can conceive a large amount of information that is neither visual, auditory, or linguistic and I can do so nearly instantly. But I have to translate this information using systems and technology that degrade the information and take a very long time to communicate, relative that is to the amount of time it takes me to recall and assemble the information in my own mind. Imagine if we were able to communicate more like computers, with bursts of code that contain this information without degrading it, or reinterpeting it, and which transmit instantaneously. If this were possible, then would written or spoken language, as we use it now, even survive?

  4. Bloodfist

    Love that episode, and I think you are totally right. I have been saying for a while that memes are the seeds of a very unique international language. Fry meme means the same in English as it does in Chinese. The words may be different but the feeling is the same. Hadn’t made the darmok leap, but it is very similar. Once we have a large enough lexicon of memes, we can begin breaking language barriers easily with nothing but pictures of emotions.

  5. Ólavur Mortensen

    Sometimes, I will write “firstworldproblems.jpg”, or “motherofgod.jpg”, refering to a meme, and all that it implies, in a given surcumstance.

  6. You should listen in on a conversation between two Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis. They speak to each other in fragments of quotations of Talmudic scholars, usually in a mixture of English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Aramaic. They allude to plot points in stories from the Midrash, to 10th century commentaries on 6th century commentaries on these stories and on relevant passages from ancient legal codes, and so on. Unless you are one of them, you will have no earthly idea what they are talking about–assuming you speak all of these languages in the first place. They are speaking a Tamarian of deep sophistication and subtlety, and they’ve been doing it for centuries.

    Reddit memes? Meh, kids.

  7. In anthropology, they talk about high-context and low-context cultures. High-context cultures assume a high degree of shared experiences and expectations. Shorthand can be deployed because the context evokes similar inferences for the participants: the Tamarians know the story of Tanagra, the blog readers have seen Pongo and Roger. Low-context cultures do more explaining through words rather than references to context; these are frequently societies with high migration.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how some of this material ages: when we no longer remember the context of the meme, what will we get from the piece?

    • Scott

      Some of them are already to that point. For example, your average meme user these days has no idea wherethis particular gif comes from (I’m at the upper end of the “meme gnereation” and I have only the barest understanding of its source), and yet it still sees regular usage for begrudgingly congratulating someone.

  8. Scuba

    My friends and I regularly engage in this verbally. If something bad happens or we make a tough decision that leaves us feeling crummy we might just say ‘feelsbadman.jpg’ or if something was really enjoyable ‘megusta.jpg’. Instantly conjuring the picture of the corresponding meme and therefore the meaning of the feeling/situation.

  9. Volsted Gridban

    I made much the same observation a month or so ago, which prompted me to make the following comic: http://i.imgur.com/BReYC.gif

    I chose that particular image because you frequently see it used without any accompanying text in the image. The image is used by itself to convey meaning. And that’s pretty close to Tamarian in my book.

  10. L.B. Gale

    Thanks for all of the insightful comments. I’ve learned so much from your knowledge! Overall, I think that, if anything, this demonstrates how popular culture is far more than entertainment–it gives us insight into complex collegial ideas that I would not have explored purely on my own, but now, because of my investment in the entertainment am completely intrigued by.

    I’d like to point you all to this reddit thread, where I see a number of more comments have been made on the topic: http://www.reddit.com/r/scifi/comments/xc8vi/the_tamarian_takeover_scifi_memes_and_language/

    Some experts (or seeming experts) on linguistics dispute what I have to say here, and it is worth noting where they disagree with the ideas I propose.

    • Steve Wida

      This has been part of English for centuries. We use the terms like “A fly in the ointment”, “That’s the sticky wicket” or “Shut up!”; they were very likely started in the same manner as the meme based terms you used.

  11. Dustin

    My friends and I (who use reddit) use a variety of memes in our everyday communication. A short list of the trigger phrases and memes are

    “Don’t know if…” Futurama Fry.

    “I don’t always do X” The most interesting man in the world.

    “Why you no!” Why you no guy

    “X is bad and you should feel bad.” Zoidberg

    “Why not X?” other Zoidberg

    “If you X, you’re gonna have a bad time.” South Park ski resort instructor.

    So, as you can see from these examples, your Tamarian translations are too clunky for us earthlings. We are already incorperating memes into our language, but the shorthand is shorter.

    • I’m gonna comment on site cgehnas too. I love the new site and think that the layout and navigation is great but there are a few things that are a bother. I miss being able to navigate more than one page at a time. I rather enjoyed hitting the last page button and then scrolling through the pages of lolz made forever and a day ago. Also when i go to page 2 at any time for any cheezburger site now it wont load any of the buttons. I can no longer add anything to my favorites. It doesn’t even load the next page button, so any lolz I missed the day before are forever out of reach to me. I think it might be something on my computer that is doing this but I have attempted every solution to this and still have no success so I will assume I’m not the only one with this problem. The pages take forever to load now. I don’t know what it is but it is so much slower than ever before.

    • my account has been tmaeinrted! I’m like what who-huh? When did that happen? I spazzed out. I thinking about switching to WordPress because I’m just tired of it. New follower :)!Have a happy new year! :)-Roxy

    • New follower from weeeknd hop. (I am just catching up! You blog design is great! I don’t know what it looked like before, the the after is very nicely done!Huge green hugs,Pat

  12. With the Clickbook 12, you can turn any Internet, CD ROM or Windows file
    into books associated with a size and magnificence, homemade
    cards, leaflets or brochures, tiles printouts, CD ROM jewel cases,
    day planner pages, etc. Fast torrent upload and also a speedier torrent download
    are both made possible by Bit – Torrent – Booster.
    However, every travelers in India, Indian or of foreign origin , would do well to plan his trip ahead of
    time to enable him to locate a hotel bid that a lot of
    suits his needs.

  13. Samuels (Eminem) “Nothin’ On You” — Philip
    Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr.
    After aiming for about two minutes and a half, he pulled
    the trigger. Juni, als Bombenanschläge in Kathmandu und anderen Städten Nepals acht Tote
    und 22 Verletzte forderten.

  14. But over the past few years, IPTV has dwarfed the quality of
    DVD and Cable TV. Instant availability is what’s triggering ebook piracy too.
    The most enjoyable element of Revenge of the Fallen is its sheer familiarity.

  15. It is often used in entertainment and business world.
    Experts have categorized animation processes into three parts:
    . Blender is powerful however it is much more advisable to stick with
    the programs that are making money to innovate further
    the capabilities that have caught the eye of some of the most influential Hollywood films to date.

  16. You’ve got some great observations here. I remember thinking the same thing about the Tamarian language, but it’s fascinating to think we’re moving closer to that. A previous commenter noted that we do the same thing with idioms, and I think there’s some validity to that observation, but I’d say memes and reaction gifs are the next step toward Tamarian after idioms.

    I also watched “Darmok” in a HS English class…Good teachers, we had.

  17. Samuel McConnell

    This is best demonstrated with the most popular gifs that can simply be referenced by filename.


    and the like.

  18. Brett Ludwig

    Heyo! I have no idea if you’ll get this message, but I just finished a picture conversation with my girlfriend over a messenger, and then replied with “ThisIsWhatHappensWhenWeDisagreeAboutSalad.jpg” and realized that grouping of ideas in a picture like a metaphor. So I thought – hey, memes are basically just metaphorical communication.

    You know, that’s probably like that Star Trek episode I saw….(googles “star trek metaphor episode”)…Darmok…hrm.

    I wonder if anyone else has thought of this?

    *googles memes darmok*

    Finds this page.


  19. It is no secret that IT has pushed the development in the residential Property in Hinjewadi, with several
    developers coming up with projects here. They fastly began to prepare for
    the first test program of April 3rd, 1973.
    The rising region stands a class apart from new cities.

    My page megapolis hack

  20. Step 3: Now, pop the old lenses out from the frame, but there is no need to need
    to exert herculean force during the process because it can damage your Ray Ban sunglasses.
    Due to its immense popularity throughout the last century,
    Aviator sunglasses are perhaps the most imitated sunglasses model on the planet.
    Wayfarers have been around since 1951, have
    picked up enough fans to spawn numerous copycats, and have weathered
    the highs and lows of the popularity roller-coaster. The cost of each glass varies according
    to the material of the frame as well.

  21. This statistic may seem a tad bit absurd, and for a good reason, because it
    simply is not true; however, there is no denying that restaurants do
    have a high rate of not being able to keep their heads above water.
    Restaurant Furnitures quality of material on seat and back is also an issue to consider.

    A coffee or pizza shop pos software is an application that would process the transaction as well as the normal operations associated
    with your business. re a Philadelphia resident, take a mini vacation and enjoy the
    tropical decorations while you enjoy your steak and seafood.
    House specials: When considering places for breakfast, restaurants in Perth
    will often have house specials even for their breakfast menu.
    The first news of the couple’s birth claimed they had confirmation from two nurses at St.

    Browse some of these excellent templates to find one which suits the style and
    ambience reflective of your eatery. *Personal
    observations: As someone who lived and worked in Hawaii for over 20 years
    with experience in commercial property management, I find the Hawaii location as a “hot market” interesting since Hawaii is
    renowned for low-cost ethnic plate lunches favored by the majority of the population.

  22. not only was this written terribly with no understanding of what a meme is, you just look like a child who made a giant scrap book of random popular animated gifs.

    but good on you for viralling your shitty article enough for a bunch of liberals SJWs to pick it up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.