I was catching up on some of the Dr Karl podcasts on the ABC the other day (I love that man), and he mentioned something about babies crying in their native language.
A smallish study was done with babies born into French and German families, and it was found that the babies’ cry melodies matched up with the intonations found in their parents’ languages, even from the very early days. French babies have a rising cry melody, and German babies tend to cry with a falling tone, both of which match up with characteristics from their mother tongue.
Apparently babies can distinguish voices in the last three months in the womb, and matching their cries to their parents’ voices is a way to communicate and increase bonding with their mothers. The parents may not even notice (didn’t you always think that all babies crying sounded the same?), but I wonder if parents would notice the difference between babies ‘speaking’ their own language, and a foreign one.
Source: Reuters. Image: nateOne.
Welcome to the brand-spanking-new Language Trainers Australia and New Zealand blog*!
Aussies and kiwis have a bit of a reputation internationally for not being awfully keen on foreign language learning, but I hope the fact that you are reading this means you aren’t described by the stereotype. Our geographical isolation from the rest of the world has meant that historically there was no real need to learn new languages for communication. Hopefully now that international travel and communication are both so easy, more and more people will start learning new languages.
This blog is intended to be a place where you can keep up with what is happening with Language Trainers, get some tips about language learning, and find out about language news, oddities, and interesting language topics from all over the world. I hope you will drop by often!
As for me, I am a kiwi who has travelled extensively, speaks bits and bobs of quite a few languages, and is currently trying to learn Mandarin Chinese (as difficult as it is sometimes!). I have a deep interest in language and communication, and hope that I can share some of that enthusiasm with you.
If you have an opinion on any of the posts here, or if you know of any interesting language sites or articles, please leave me a comment on the site, or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.
Good luck in your language-learning endeavours, and I hope to see you here again soon!
*It’s a long name, but hopefully I won’t have to refer to it by its full name very often.
Image: spleeney via Flickr Creative Commons.