Dogs know when you’re speaking a different language, study says

That’s pretty doggone cool if you ask me

A new study in Hungary shows that dogs can understand different languages.

If you ever feel crazy having full conversations with your dog, don’t worry. There’s a good chance your pup knows what you’re saying!

According to a new study out of Hungary, dogs can recognize different languages.

A team of researchers designed an experiment with 18 dogs. Each of the dogs’ brains were analyzed with MRI scanning as they heard Hungarian, Spanish or scrambled speech.

Scans showed different parts of the dogs’ brains were activated when a familiar language was spoken versus a nonfamiliar one — as well as nonsense versus authentic speech.

Researchers also discovered that the older the dog was, the better its brain was able to distinguish between languages.

“It’s a fact how dogs are social beings. So, they are all the time picking up information about their social world. And for the dogs, humans, we are an important source of information,” said Laura V. Cuaya, Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.

The research team says their study is the first demonstration a non-human brain can tell the difference between two languages.

About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.