Been thinking about interspecies communication and diplomacy a lot lately...
"So this is your alphabet. It has 26 glyphs in current use, it fits on a business card, and it makes no sense at all."
"No arguments there."
"This is your international phonetic alphabet. The alphabet of the human speech system. Can you memorize this sheet of paper?"
"Uh... Sure, yeah, if that's my job."
"Good." *phonebook-sized thump* "This is the intergalactic phonetic alphabet. We'll work up to that."