The movie “Arrival” is an American science fiction movie.  The first time I chose to analyze this film is to have an interesting topic, as well as see a linguistically handled film for the first time.  In the movie,12 alien spaceships moved into 12 different societies on Earth, occurring in the US, Russia, China, and Pakistan Linguists in several areas ought to discuss the presence of aliens to grasp their purpose, language, and culture.  A linguist was asked upon to interpret the aliens’ language and comprehend why they showed up in various regions of the world before launching a global war. The aliens’ written language approaches in circles, every sentence requiring an exact beginning or end.  The alien visitors appeared to view time in an equal manner: as a circular notion.  Operating to decode this cryptic language, accomplished human linguist Louise Banks starts to have the foresight of the past and future as her discernment of time changes from linear to circular.  Mainly, considering in a distinct language provokes her thinking way to change.  This is a core opinion at the soul of the film: that a devoted relationship subsists among the language you speak and the way you comprehend the world. 

Photo by Ender Ergu00fcl on

Throughout the film, since Louise learned the alien language, Sapir Whorf expressions turn to be more visible.  Also, the film introduces one of the popular linguistic hypotheses known as the Sapir-Whorf theory and suggests that people’s views are dictated by the language they use.  The most appealing point in the movie about this theory is that every human consideration is determined by the language they speak, and language gives form people’s opinions or beliefs.  Moreover, language and communication represent a notable role in building peace all over the world.  The movie aspires to the audience to perceive language distinctions not as a menace, yet as something useful that indeed improves the whole world.  This can be perceived meanwhile the political leaders including others in the movie were reluctant to interact with the aliens believing that the aliens were asserting a crisis on the world; notwithstanding, the linguist was attempting to convince them that assuming them may save humans, and when they were assaying to decode the language, the word “weapon” was utilized by the aliens, which made the political conductors also more concerned. Still, the linguist was trying to emphasize to them that the word may signify something else in their language and she was saying the truth, because, eventually, it came out that the word meant “gift.”

Ultimately, communication is the most valid form to refrain from misapprehension.   The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is studied in three different structures in the film, which can be seen in the physiological transformation of Louis, the language barrier, and the clearly different discourses of the scientists.  The hypothesis may be difficult to believe in the real world, but there is something about it that is utilized in the movie to deliver a message, two lead messages; we should not judge others because they are distinct from us, and we should perpetually present ourselves a possibility to comprehend people because utterances in one language may intend something distinct in other languages. The movie clarifies that language will eternally be flawed and imperfectly transmissible in a specific form, but that the risk to comprehend, the uncertainty, straightforward and separated from concealed motives, to learn another is the single form to put forward assertive diversity in the world.  Success is redundant and conceivably unlikely.  It is the seeking what is important.

Furthermore, the movie contributes to my culture awareness and how expressions are an essential key to understand each other via language.  Our language is different from others so what we should do is, trying to communicate and understand the other’s feelings, expressions, and behaviors.  Language is a tool for culture which is essential for people to make connections and see the world from different views.  Moreover, different cultures make people more enlightened as a result of becoming an insider who is experienced and lived it. So, when it comes to details of the movie, it demonstrates our language can be in any shapes such as images or symbols.  In addition to that, in the movie, a woman who is linguist tries to figure out the beings’ language due to the fact that what is the purpose of landing in the world.  Then, she affected by their use of language, which contains symbols and helped her brain to get an ability to see the future, present and past simultaneously.  This mysterious ability is originated from their descriptive language. I believe that the movie wanted to show us people from another country or an alien from another planet it is impossible to negotiate without knowing the culture and language in the environment.  In fact, the movie is associated with the Sapir Whorf hypothesis, which means the language that determines the behaviors of people and cultures covers language use. 

Overall, without culture, the world cannot gain meaning in consequence of the language itself.  I believe that language is culture which is a value of a nation.  It is known that people who speak the same language have the same background, share the same culture, and have the same habits and values.  Consequently, the people living in the society without alienation, socializing to continue their lives, the society’s culture, beliefs, and values ​​are adopted.  This can be transferred to the generations by language.  That is why language is culture.


Kramsch, C., Widdowson H. G., (1998), Language and Culture, Oxford University Press

2 thoughts on “How Did The Movie Arrival Contribute to My Knowledge of Language, Culture and Thoughts?

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    It was a great movie. Thanks for sharing this wonderful analysis!

    1. It was yes, thank you πŸ™‚

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