Omnilingualby H. Beam Piper
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To translate writings, you need a key to the code--and if the last writer of Martian died forty thousand years before the first writer of Earth was born ... how could the Martian be translated...?
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This was a pretty good book-or should I say story? It was fairly short (or seemed so). It is about a group of archaeologists on Mars, studying the traces of the long-dead civilization. The main character is trying to unlock the secrets of the Martian language. Even with insults and discouragements from her fellow workers, she keeps trying. Also, many other secrets of the mysterious Martians are discovered. Gives a new outlook from traditional sci-fi.