Monday, November 22, 2010

World Wide Web and Animal Languages

Thanks to Tim Bernard Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, we are able to realize that we live in a world of global information and a global market, thus the world needed a global language. English, because of its simplicity, is easy to learn and to adapt. No wonder that Chile and Mongolia intend to become bilingual in English, as Singapore has already done.                
However, globalization has not reached our animals yet. You may ask, do animals speak a different language? The sound is the same but the onomatopoeia of that sound differs depending on our native tongue. Languages aren’t only about pronunciation, they are about what you hear. In short, it is a question of perception. For instance, Italian, French, and Spanish, like many other languages, represent animal sounds differently than an English speaker might expect. Here are some different ways of describing the sounds of animals. For instance, a dog in Italian goes bau-bau, in French oua-oua, in Spanish guau-guau, and for the English woof-woof or ruff-ruff.  The sound of a rooster in English would be cock-a-doodle-doo, in Italian chicchirichí,in French cocorico, in Spanish quiquiriqui. The cat goes meow in English, miaou in French,  miao in Italian, and miau in Spanish.  The question now is, if humans can learn to speak a different language and since we’re considered an animal species, why can’t animals speak our language? Let’s not forget that we are wired differently and have also a higher cognitive ability. Although the sounds of animals are the same everywhere in the world, each language interprets these sounds according to its own sound system and culture.