Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dolphins and English

It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese. -- Carl Sagan

Does anybody know how the dolphins "spoke" English? Via symbols on big buttons, perhaps? I know of an ape which spoke quite adept English this way. For instance, upon seeing his trainer holding an orange, which was unfamiliar to him, he pushed the buttons for [trainer's name] [give] [ape's name] [color orange] [apple].


Robb in Houston said...

We humans use letters and other characters, assemble them into words, which are then assembled into sentences and paragraphs to convey a message.

Dolphins communicate in concepts. That's like sending an entire book's worth of data in a fraction of a second. Many times a second. Through the water and through the air.

Very intelligent beings, they are.

dreamingwolf said...

It was Dr. John C. Lilly who worked with dolphins learning them to "speak" human (in this case, English) language. And he succeeded: his dolphins were really able to articulate words. Lilly and his work with dolphins were inspiration for the film, "A Day of a Dolphin". Browse the Google to find out more about this topic...

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, wolf.

It surprised me a lot that a dolphin would have the vocal apparatus necessary to pronounce human speech.