The beautiful languages of the people who talk like birds

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Julien Meyer's research on the theme of the whistled speech has had its share of scientific articles or general public, "The beautiful languages of the people who talk like birds" by David Robson, is the latest instalment of The Human Planet, a new series in which BBC Future uses cutting-edge science to explore humanity's extraordinary diversity.

 

"Meyer’s interest in whistled languages began with a 40-year-old Scientific American article about Silbo Gomero – a form of whistled Spanish ‘spoken’ on one of the Canary Islands. The trilled sounds allow shepherds to communicate across deep ravines, and they are apparently so close to the local birdsong that blackbirds have been known to learn and mimic the human dialogues. You can hear a clip above of someone whistling 'En todo el mundo hay hombres que hablan silbando', which translates as 'Around the World, there are humans who whistle their language'."