An Asian elephant can speak Korean and be understood by humans.
Animals constantly surprise us with their intelligence.
Several years ago, a now 22-year-old Asian elephant in a South Korean zoo became quite popular when he appeared to be speaking. Scientists at the University of Vienna have recently analyzed his sounds, and realized he is saying several words in Korean that could be understood by speakers of the language.
His vocabulary consists of 5 words that translate to 'no', 'lie down', 'sit down', 'hello', and ‘good’. He sticks the tip of his trunk into his mouth, while simultaneously producing vocal sounds mimicking the pitch and timbre of a human’s voice.
Earlier this year, scientists were shocked to realize that an acoustic analysis of a deceased, once-captive beluga whale revealed mumbling in a human voice.
Researchers stated that past recordings “suggested that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds.” During one recording, the whale was heard saying the word ‘out’ several times to a diver who was in the enclosure.
Do you think animals have the ability to learn a language that's new to them like ours?