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My Bilingual Siamese

February 20th, 2005, 04:54 PM

I thought I would relate this story since I wondered if others have experienced this. As you know, I was away to Sumatra for awhile and had a friend Yin Yin sitting. My friend is a Francophone so she talks to Yin Yin in French. Her own two kitties understand commands in both English and French and it is not unusual here to see animals (cats and dogs typically respond to people addressing them in both languages).

I speak to Yin Yin primarily in English with the occasional swear word in French <g> and of course she hears me on the phone or with people here speaking the language. However, her sitter spoke primarily French to her and now she seems to understand both languages. (Did I mention her sitter teaches French Immersion? <g>)

Her favoourite French words mind you are manger and les jouets. :)

February 20th, 2005, 05:09 PM
AWWWWWW that sounds so sweet.Just no swearing words in french Missy.... ;) :p

My calico Phoenix,(ok,Dads actually understands Lithuanian.He always spoke it to her even when she was a kitten.I would wonder who my dad was talking to(I lived upstairs).I would look at my daughter,actually telling her papa was loosing it...LOL....I went downstairs and sure enough,it was Phoenix he was talking to.She was on his lap.She actually understands him.He will ask her if she's hungry(in Lithuanian) and she would actually meow and go to her food bowl.

I don't care what anyone says,cats ARE smart... :thumbs up

February 20th, 2005, 07:15 PM
For cats and dogs, English is a foreign language and they totally master body language. Foreign words shouldn't be any more difficult.

Lucky Rescue
February 20th, 2005, 10:30 PM
My last dog came from a French speaking home. My husband was French as well, but I spoke to the dog in English and he quickly became bilingual.:p

HIS favorite English words were "Cookie" "Dinner" and "Walkies"!

My friends from out west, when visiting, found this hilarious for some reason. :D

February 21st, 2005, 06:35 AM
Oh, totally! Growing up, my parents would speak to us in English, to each other in Italian or their Albanian dialect, and to friends and family in French - so our pooches were almost always quadrilingual! :)

I heard of people who trained their animals specifically in other languages (German seems to be the most popular - probably because of SchH?) so that the dog would not respond if strangers tried to steal it by giving it common commands. So these dogs would have their standard commands in German, but would still respond to everyday English (eg. "Time to take Fido to the vet's.").

February 21st, 2005, 07:34 AM
Oh well girls,my cats absolute geniuses in the cat-world,they understand Swedish,English and French and throw in some Spanish and German tooo....but mainly Swedish,French and English,I am sooo proud of them

February 21st, 2005, 11:39 AM
nakita knows all the commands in russian, two or three in spanish and the only word that she knows in spanish russian and english is treat or cookie

February 21st, 2005, 11:45 AM
Pollito...I like your Avatar,that is some tounge :D belonging to a Rottie????
We like to see a pic,we just love Rotties..
Sorry,just read your profile...and the tounge belongs to a pittie :D we love them too.. :love:

February 21st, 2005, 03:00 PM
Here's a suggestion for everyone. :thumbs up Get in the habit of using your hands to also give a hand signal when you give a command. When DenDen3 lost his hearing, it was invaluable! We didn't think about it at the time, but we did develop certain hand motions. When he could no longer hear us, he still understood. And isn't it amazing how clearly they can communicate with us without using words at all?

February 21st, 2005, 03:12 PM
My dog is also bilingual, I only speak english to her and my SO speaks spanish to her. unfortunatly he taughter her the sit pretty command so now people think i'm insaine because i say everything in english untill i tell her to sit pretty lol. for some reason that is one she only understands in spanish but we are working on it. :D

February 22nd, 2005, 09:12 PM
pictures coming soon