February 2013 Archives

Whistling as a form of communication

British readers of a certain age may well remember the children's series, The Clangers. It featured some knitted creatures that lived on the moon and communicated using a series of whistles. Wikipedia has more information for those who need their memories jogged - and for those who do not have a clue what I'm talking about!

There was an interesting article recently published by the BBC which explains how children on the island of La Gomera, part of the Canary Islands, are being taught a whistling language. This form of communication was orginally used in the 15th century by the indigenous people. The sounds could travel over 3 km - which must have been handy when calling the children in for dinner.

Although not the only whistling language in the world, silbo (as it is called) is the only one which is taught in schools. Read more here. Here at TranslationWorks, I do not teach silbo or the Clangers' language but I will be taking bookings for English conversation lessons for non-native speakers and German lessons. Use my contact page and I'll reply to your request after 25 February.

Tiny Clanger