Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Babies can understand us

baby.jpg

Remember that YouTube clip of the twin babies communicating in a ‘secret language’?

What about Joey from Friends’ disastrous attempts at speaking ‘French’? Well it seems that they all might just be on to something, as scientists have discovered that we actually can tell what someone is saying just from their tone of voice.

Researchers from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology have found that babies can understand what their mothers mean, even when they’re spoken to in a different language.

The academics tested their theory on a group of one-year old babies, who they found reacted in exactly the same way to their mother’s voice whether she was speaking in English or Greek.

They observed the babies watching their mums perform actions with toys while using the English words ‘whoops’ and ‘there’ and found that the tots produced the same reactions when the words were spoken in Greek, too.

So, to get by in a foreign country all we need is a model train, the right tone of voice and some enthusiastic hand gestures, right? Sorted.

Picture credit: Rex Features

Related

cake-story.jpg

'Cake' most searched for word by foodies

2011-words.jpg

2011's top words in pictures

roalddahl.jpg

Roald Dahl Stamps Celebrate Author

Comments

More

The 5 most surprising things I learnt from appearing on First Dates

What's it really like to appear on First Dates?

by Jasmine Andersson
22 Jun 2017

Rihanna just gave a heartbroken fan the best relationship advice

The pop star took time out to give a fan this brilliant tip

by Stylist
22 Jun 2017

First Dates fans respond to “shocking” mansplaining incident

“A frightened, insecure monkey hanging on to his patriarchal perch for dear life”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Hero mum has more fun at university orientation than student daughter

“I made some friends. Don’t wait up!”

by Amy Swales
22 Jun 2017

The personality trait you're most likely to inherit from your parents

How far does the apple fall from the tree?

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

Theresa May: 600 tower blocks have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower

Thousands of homes across the country may be at risk from ‘combustible’ panelling

by Moya Crockett
22 Jun 2017

Grenfell Tower survivors to be rehomed in 'luxury' flats

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

Australian politician expertly shuts down manterrupter

"You're not my type either mate"

by Jasmine Andersson
22 Jun 2017

Why cycling to the office could be the best thing you do all day

Skip the hellish commute, get on your bike

by Moya Crockett
22 Jun 2017