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Another image from Neill Blomkamp‘s sci-fi movie District 9 has been published at Coming Soon and as well as giving us a look at a scene from the movie, it contains a message written in an alien alphabet.  Here’s the message as displayed on the site, and then below the break a translation. Click on this image for a better look:

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The cypher being used is a very simple one that simply replaces characters in the English alphanumeric set for alien symbols and the words and grammar being used are plain English too.

The message reads: NEW TRAILER ON APPLE.COM/TRAILER MAY 1.

All that trouble for a trailer plug! Anyway, that pretty much confirms the rumor that a trailer for the film will be going out attached to Wolverine tonight.

There’s a guide available to the District 9 cypher online, and it will probably now spread quite wide, quite quickly and we’ll be seeing a lot of these coded messages in the coming months.

I’ve seen plenty of fake alien languages in films and on TV over the years, and most of them have been more impressive than this one. Futurama had two, Alienese I and II. The first of these was a simple character replacement cypher, like the District 9 one, but that was cracked like an egg before the second episode have even aired and the boffins set about creating a more complex system.

The Superman comics had both Kryptonian and Kryptonese, in different continuities.

Klingon is probably the most famous of fictional languages (Esperanto doesn’t count), and was devised by a linguist for the movies, not the original series. I didn’t see any trace of it in the new film, which was a genuine surprise but then again, I didn’t spot any traces of the Klingons at all. See how naive I am about this Star Trek business?

I’m hoping there’s more interior logic to the alien creations of District 9 than to this marketing gimmick and I’d imagine there pretty much has to be.

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