If that sounds too hard, here are excerpts from the Wikipedia synopsis of Chiang’s story, to wit:
“Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is enlisted by the military to communicate with a race of aliens — called Heptapods — who’ve landed on earth and are looking to learn and communicate.
“The Heptapods’ spoken language is known as Heptapod A (harder to learn than Japanese or Czech) while Heptapod B is their written language, Heptapod B has such complex structure that a single semagram (or determinative) cannot be excluded without changing the entire meaning of a sentence.”
Are you getting a feeling that Arrival is going to be a very cerebral experience — i.e., the anti-Independence Day? Which is good, right? Who wants to watch another bonehead alien-invasion flick? Why then do I wish that Jeff Goldblum was costarring in Arrival instead of Forrest Whitaker, who’s always hulking, panting and slurring his words?