What would it be like to communicate with animals?





Note: I originally wrote this article as an answer to a question on Quora: If you could choose to be fluent in one additional language, what would it be?

My native language is Bengali. I can speak English and Hindi too. I can learn any other foreign language such as French, Spanish or German at any time. But I'm not interested right now to do so rather I would love to learn a language with which I could communicate with animals.

Yes! You read it right. It would be gratifying to me to be able to decipher their bark, hiss, squeak, trumpet or chirp. Similarly, it would be astonishing if they could too understand our language. It feels great to imagine a language that both humans and animals could comprehend and communicate in.

Talking to animals just like we humans talk to each other and getting to know about what they think would certainly give us a completely different perception of our universe. The more important thing is that they could express themselves and we could better understand them.

A bird may explain to us what pushing through air feels like and a caged bird might get upset after hearing that. A polar bear could share her experience living on or under ice, and an anglerfish may reveal the mysteries of the unseen deep parts of an ocean. Moreover, an elephant could express his agony in losing his ivory tusks to a poacher, a work horse could yell out his pain, a stray dog could complain of being tortured, a tiger cub could request a lumberjack not to demolish their home. The northern white rhino, Sudan, who died recently could have elaborately shared his life experience of 45 years. Sudan's bereaved daughter and granddaughter named Najin and Patu respectively could express their sorrow on losing Sudan, the last male of their species. It would be delightful to us to listen to their life stories in their own voices.




In my opinion, if all this was true then the scientists and researchers working hard all day and night long wouldn't have to trouble much to solve the mysteries of our nature and wildlife, and to know about how animals live their lives. An electric eel himself would tell us why he outputs an electric shock instead of a fellow researcher trying exhaustively to find an answer to it. We would use submarines and drones for wildlife research less often. Instead a journalist would interview a jellyfish or a hawk to know what we want. It would be beneficial to both humans and animals. They could raise their voice and exclaim their problem to us, and we could better deal with their problem.

Let's imagine a world where animals and humans gossip over dinner.

Let me know what you are thinking or share your opinion in the comments below.