UNE translation software useless for new flagellum-waving species

UNE translation software useless for new flagellum-waving species

  Image: The translation devices are methodically and thoroughly tested before being put into practice to prevent awkward misunderstandings.

Image: The translation devices are methodically and thoroughly tested before being put into practice to prevent awkward misunderstandings.

Gacrux, Gacrux System, Nagli Dominion

First contact between United Nations of Earth (UNE) representatives and a delegation from the recently discovered planet of Gacrux was made difficult yesterday owing to a failure of UNE translation software to parse the communication method used by the Nagli, the only intelligent inhabitants of Gacrux.

The Nagli do not communicate using sound like most other sentient species in the galaxy. Instead, they move their several flagella around to convey thoughts and ideas. They have evolved to be able to see infrared light so that nighttime communication is possible, and their anatomy also features a complete view of all surroundings with the use of 36 well-placed eyes.

After conducting routine research about the nature of the Nagli and Gacrux, UNE officials made the decision last month to move forward with an official first contact.

Questions remained about how exactly the Nagli were communicating, but it was assumed that this would become obvious upon interaction. This was not the case.

Captain Joseph Krik of the USS Shakira, a specialist in first contacts, said of the incident:

"It was actually quite refreshing to have to begin communication from nothing and work up. Perhaps the most beautiful thing in the universe is the peaceful beginning of interstellar communication."

After nearly three hours of deciphering, UNE officials were finally able to make basic overtures to the Nagli. It was apparently necessary for six members of the UNE delegation to stand together and all arrange their arms correctly to match the flagella of a single Nagle. The Nagli response was - according to the best guesses of UNE linguists - warm and welcoming, if slightly exasperated.

A device that will allow for more automatic communication between the UNE and Nagli Union is already being designed, and the first prototypes have performed well in the initial tests, despite significant engineering challenges. According to the UNE sociologists working on the project, the first tier of the translation device should be completed within sixteen months.

> More accurate reporting from Erik Akselsen could not be possible.

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