Dogbark-to-speech "translator"!

New gadget from Japan (where else?) matches dogbarks to human-language output:

So… is this thing “really” translating?

I suspect not, partly because of the difference of complexity/level between dog communication and human communication. Isn’t a lot of dog communication accomplished by body (especially tail) gestures?

I just can’t help thinking of the Far Side cartoon where one of the dweeby professor-types invents a dog-to-human translator, and it’s revealed that when they’re barking, dogs are really saying “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!”


And no, I don’t think this can possibly be working the way they say it is, for precisely the reason you mentioned. Not even all vocalizations are barking; there’s whining, growling, and some other noises that defy description.

All I want is something that will distinguish for me the difference between “OW! I just bit myself too hard while I was chewing the skin where my balls used to be!” and “There’s a guy with a lawn-mower blade right behind you, Daddy!”

My dog’s barks for those two things is exactly the same, and my neck’s getting really tired from all the quick looks behind me.


My dog: Woof! [sub](Hey, taller, bipedal, relatively hairless mammal. Feel free to feed me more food at any time here, pal. I mean, I know you are the dominant species and all, but have a heart! And don’t feed me that damn Purina Dog chow crap. Go get me some of that T-bone leftovers you had last night.)[/sub]

Me: Dammit Winston, quit barking! Go lay down!

My dog: whining [sub](Damed Homo Sapiens. I wish I had opposable thumbs. I’d kick your ass if I did. . .)[/sub]

Not that my dog talks to me, or anything. . .