Mastering a language is not an easy task. Different countries have different languages, and each language in turn has different dialects. For instance, the Hindi usage, in Uttar Pradesh, is drastically different from the Hindi spoken by the Koli fisherfolk of Maharashtra. In fact, in smaller towns, there is a subtle shift in the spoken language, every few kilometers!

Can You Speak Dolphin Language?
Can You Speak Dolphin Language? [Illustration by Shiju George]

Recent studies show that dolphins are no different from us. Believe it or not, these friendly mammals have languages of their own that are area-specific. It has long been known the dolphins emit clicking sounds (or whistles). Both the clicks and whistles serve a definite purpose – the clicking noises help in echo-location while the whistles are their method of communicating their emotions.

Dolphins communicate with each other by whistling, but strictly speaking, there is no evidence, yet, to prove that the whistles are as complex as human languages. However, research does show that groups of whales (and dolphins) living far apart develop their own distinct dialects (of whistles).

Can you speak dolphin language?
Can you speak dolphin language?

Marine biologists have been studying and recording dolphin whistles for some time now. Last year, biologists noticed some rather queer activity in the English Channel.

The bottle-nosed dolphins, near the English coast, never