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