Do animals have different languages?

Or I could be a really smart dog!

I’m sorry Hazel-rah, but those examples are just horrid. You make it out as if a human infant understands english better than a dog simply because it’s human. No. Neither understands english any better than the other. Why? Because neither have yet learned to distinguish certain sounds and their meanings from any other vocalization made by the parent/owner.

A dog that has learned to roll over when you say ‘sit’ is by no means indicative that that dog is incapable learning human language. It has obviously learned to distinguish a certain sound from other vocalizations and the meaning behind that sound. No, that is indicative that the human that dog that particular word lied to the dog. It doesn’t know that the word ‘sit’ means to sit. Why? Because it has never learned english.

Now I think that while dogs may not have mastered the use of language to communicate, the fact most dogs can learn commands from his owner shows that they do at least have the potential to learn a language. If gorillas can learn rudimentary english, and even communicate with it after a fashion, perhaps dogs can too. Teach 'em to use a telegraph maybe? Replace its larynx and voice box and whatnot with a human one? (I dunno if that last one is even possible. who knows?)
~Barking Dog
“…can’t we talk this out like civilized people?” ~J. Wayne

Actually, yes. That is precisely why human children understand English (or any language) better than a dog ever will… because they have a human brain with specialized areas devoted to language acquisition and use. Dog brains don’t. And I said three-year-olds, not infants. In terms of language acquisition that is huge difference.

Your claims contradict all the research on child language acquisition I have ever seen. At one month old infants already differentiate between human speech and other sounds. They have dogs beat handily within about a year and a half of being born.

Non-human primates can’t learn rudimentary English. Research has been conducted where it was attempted to teach primates sign language. It’s quite well known even outside of linguistic circles. The researchers claimed success, but when fluent signers looked at the videos of the primates supposedly using sign language they said no way, no how, not even close.

Again, any attempts along those lines are doomed to failure because language ability is not the result of high general intelligence applied to communication. Our brains have evolved specialized areas to deal with language that no other animal has, so we are the only animals that can do it.