I find that last approach very interesting. Sorta like a elderly, 'in-the-know' adult, trying to explain things to a young, hell-bent kid.
except the "elderly, 'in-the-know' adult" is a giant squirrel-like alien and the "young, hell-bent kid" are the humans who may be doubting their sanity as they are being talked to by what looks like a 3 foot high flying squirrel. The comments between the alien and his companion (who does not have a physical body but is also the one to read the minds of the humans and interpret and instruct the alien what sounds to make to communicate) will be the real story as you will read their unspoken conversations while the spoken conversation between the alien and humans (or Earth animals) is happening. I am more into "hard" science fiction where everything has a scientific explanation so this is the mechanism to allow a character to speak any language and even communicate with creatures who do not have a language. To further explain the body-less companion, it rearranges quarks to not change the energy or type of the particle but will still be a form of data and the body-less character is like a computer artificial intelligence program who uses matter as a data structure. Chrystal and solid materials retain the information better so they are the preferred home for this creatures memories and thinking so my pouched squirrel-like alien carries a rock in his pouch to house the body-less alien companion (while it is checking out everyone's brains or computers to see what is happening but only the squirrel-like alien can do anything physical like talk or use the computer keyboard)