I have read that some identical twins have a language between them that only they understand. If this is true, then what does it sound like? Has there ever been any study looking to see if these languages are similar in other twins that use it?
I don’t know about an actual language between identical twins. I seem to remember a stir to that effect a few years back, but it turned out that the kids were really just communicating with each other by utilizing identical baby talk. They could understand each other perfectly, because they had developed the baby talk themselves, but to adults listening, their rapid-fire garble seemed at first to be an entirely new language.
I do know about twins being able to communicate more effectively with each other in other ways, though. My wife has a twin brother, and they can just give each other a look or say a signal word, and they both understand each other completely. There have also been times when they have dressed in a similar fashion (blue-and-white checkered shirt, blue jeans) completely independent of each other, and many times when my wife is just thinking of Jeff, he’ll up and call, for no good reason other than he was thinking of her.
It’s weird, because we’ve been married 18 years, and can often communicate non-verbally, like all couples married for a time. But the bond she has with her brother in this regard is even stronger. Well, it’s over 40 years old, and started in the womb.
Click here for portions of Oliver Sacks’s account of twins who were so intertwined psychically that the nature of their communication is not only not known, but can be fit into no existing model.
I think for investigators this is like the proof of Fermat’s theorem. Anyone who can suggest a means for how these twins did what they did will solve a terribly difficult riddle, but that will be minor compared to the bright light an explanation will shine in corners so deep and dark we have never ventured there.
These twins are the weirdest damn thing I’ve ever heard of.
I have identical twins. They not only don’t have a special language only they understand, but I sometimes have to translate when they talk to each other.
Yes, the “special twin talk” theory was blown up some years ago, but it makes a good story. I haven’t read Sack’s article yet, but plenty people on this board seem to believe in psychic phenomena.
For the record, reports of secret langaguages are not limited to twins. My mother was always convinced that my older brother and sister, 11 months apart, shared a secret language. For my part, I always suspected they were just babbling, but I wasn’t born yet so I don’t know. My brother and sister were too young to remember it.
I’m not going to say that we had a special language or anything, but my overprotective mother took my twin and me to the doctor when we were toddlers to find out why we hadn’t started talking. Her fear was that perhaps we had a hearing impediment of some kind (it was a difficult pregnancy and we were small babies–I was a little over 4lbs.) Anyway, our doctor put us in his office alone for about a half hour and left the door ajar. She said that they peeked in on us and found that we were talking away with no problem.
I’ve heard other twins describe this same kind of behavior. The doctor said he thought that we weren’t talking to my parents because we really didn’t have a need to. We did all of our communicating with each other. My folks just separated us a little each day and gradually we started talking to them. I’m sure it was just what another poster described, some kind of baby talk.
In some ways it does feel like my twin and I have some kind of special language, even if it’s just understanding each other in a very unique sort of way. I can’t really describe it, except to say that I can’t imagine my life without it.
A long time ago I visited a friend with (identical) twin brothers who were about sixteen at the time. The family lived on a farm in southern Idaho, which can be exceptionally rural. At breakfast the twins talked to each other in what sounded like gibberish to me but, I gathered, the other family members could catch the general gist of what was said.
My friend explained to me later that they had a language of their own but didn’t claim it was a “new” language; it was more like a very rapid shorthand version of ordinary English. I’ve always wondered if their isolated life contributed.
I seem to recall a documentary about 2 twin girls that had developed their own “language”. It turned out that their grandmother only spoke German and many of the twins words were taken from that, but extremely garbled. They ended up separating the twins so that they would start learning English.