New Craze for Translation Devices to Understand Animal Languages

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cat-talking-on-phone.jpgWoofwoof! Mioaw! It seems the world has taken translation devices beyond human language with a number of devices appearing on the market that claim to be able to tell you exactly what your dog, cat or even gerbil is trying to tell you. Here are two examples!

For a long time, humans have tried to decipher animal behaviour. We all know that monkeys that show their teeth are not being friendly, but actually do this when they are angry.

When time, scientists not only focused on translating what animals do, but on the sounds they produce as well. In this day and age where computers are sometimes as smart or even smarter than humans, the development of software that can translate animal sounds doesn’t come as a big surprise.
Dolphin Language Translation

A good example of this is the Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry keyboard. According to Ellie Zolfagharifard in an article on The Daily Mail website, this keyboard, that can be used under water, is the newest way to communicate with dolphins. The device was developed by  Dr Denise Herzing, who taught dolphins to use they keyboard.

Here’s how it works:

On the keyboard, there are four different symbols that each represent a sound and a toy. If a dolphin makes one of these sounds, two hydrophones record the sound and the device tells its human user what toy was requested by the dolphin. Dr Herzing and her team are aiming to connect a specific sound to each of the divers that are involved in the project as well, so the dolphins can also pick their own playmate. Herzing believes the CHAT keyboard might change the way people and dolphins interact. Who knows, she says, maybe one day we can actually understand these magnificent sea creatures!

Chances are that even if this will one day be possible, you will not have the opportunity to chit-chat with Flipper during your evening walk as most of us do not encounter dolphins on a daily basis.

Dog Language Translation

Another new device, however, might be a little more useful for those of us who don’t live close to the sea.

According to the BBC, Scandinavian scientists claim to have developed a dog translator!

The device, which is called ‘No More Woof,’ has been created by the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery and even though it is still in the prototype stage, its release is planned for April 2014. Do not expect to be able to have deep, existential conversation with your Brutus, though: sentences included in the software are more along the lines of ‘who are you?’ and ‘I’m tired.’

What next!?

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