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posted by janrinok on Monday January 10, @02:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the woof-woof-bark-miaow dept.

Dogs know when you're speaking a different language -- and talking nonsense:

Dogs know when you're speaking a different language -- and talking nonsense. The idea of being able to speak to creatures in their own distinct language was a thrilling prospect. And then there were veterinarians like Dr. James Herriot and his treasury of tales that showed he truly understood the nature of animals.

Now, while working from home and spending more time with our pets, perhaps we've reached a form of understanding that crosses the linguistic barrier.

[...] But even more fascinating is the idea that we're not entirely different -- that we share things in common, some of which used to be considered strictly human qualities. By recognizing our own traits in animals, we can understand them better.

[There is a video embedded in the story. Here is a similar YouTube video I found on the web.--martyb]


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by istartedi on Monday January 10, @05:29PM (1 child)

    by istartedi (123) on Monday January 10, @05:29PM (#1211544) Journal

    A study is good, but there were plenty of anecdotes about this already. The one I heard was where somebody adopted a shelter dog they thought was un-trained and couldn't understand any commands--until their cousin came over and told it to do stuff in Spanish. The next level up is where the dog would have figured it out over time, and realized they needed to learn a new language. I'm not sure if I've ever heard of that happening. It's harder (but not impossible) for humans to learn new languages when older. I wonder how hard it is for dogs who are no longer puppies.

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  • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Monday January 10, @10:02PM

    by Dr Spin (5239) on Monday January 10, @10:02PM (#1211622)

    It's harder (but not impossible) for humans to learn new languages when older.

    The largest part of this appears to be the difficulty of recognising syllables that do not occur,
    or differences between syllables that are considered the same, in your first language - if not
    exposed to them before the age of 12.

    My wife and I have done quite well learning Spanish by watching Spanish films on Netflix,
    although we probably have very weird accents.

    --
    Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!