Birds Can Identify Languages

Pet birds can not only imitate sounds, they can distinguish between languages, potentially offering new clues on how the brain recognises speech, Japanese researchers say.

It has already been confirmed that monkeys, mice and other mammals can recognise different languages but this is the first time that birds have been found to possess the ability, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported.

Keio University experimental psychology professor Shigeru Watanabe, who led the research, said, paddy birds like the Java Sparrow and parakeets, which are skilled vocally, learn sounds unique to their species after becoming adults, suggesting that they have a high ability to distinguish between sounds.

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