Languages have been used to communicate since ancient times and often these languages are spoken on a daily basis. However, in some remote locations around the world, there are communities where members use non-verbal language to communicate with each other. Moreover, these people can easily talk to each other without words which are far from spoken languages. While a frequent traveler might pick up a few words and phrases here and there, it is very difficult to learn a non-verbal language.
Did you know that some non-speech languages are completely natural and fully developed? You can compare them to American Sign Language for example. You know it's a complete language like English and it's perfectly possible for users to communicate, except those who can't sign nor can't hear these words.
Many non-verbal languages are adopted by people living in remote areas, in forests and on valleys and mountains. A number of non-verbal languages still exist and humans, although their numbers are decreasing, continue to use them. Many are herders and hunters, although you can still find fully developed communities that can use them.
These non-verbal languages can be divided into different forms. Some are whistling; others are dodgy. There are languages that hum and some use drums to communicate. There are sign languages that differ from standard sign language used by people with speech and hearing difficulties.
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In some cultures, it is believed that whistling on a hot day helps them call a cool breeze. Some people may whistle a tune, especially if they don't know the lyrics. Whistling is used to get someone's attention or to pass the time. But for some cultures, whistling is a way to communicate. Some people call them bird languages.
Historically, whistling has come from cultures living in jungles, mountains, and remote villages, as whistles have the ability to travel across large areas. Because there is no echo in the whistle, this language can move without distortion and without alarming possible prey. The speaker doesn't have to exert much effort to be heard and because of the high frequency of the whistle, it can reach distances of up to six miles or 10 kilometers. It is known that about 70 whistling languages have been identified. Here are some of them:
1. Silbo Gomero
Of the whistling languages, Silbo Gomero, spoken on the island of La Gomera in the Canaries, is the best known. A variety of whistling sounds include Silbo Gomero, which is derived from the Spanish term, silbar, which translates to "whistle". Silbo Gomero, as a non-verbal language, has about 4,000 words created from the combination of four vowels and four consonants.
The user of Silbo Gomero is known as Silbador. The whistling language, according to scholars, came from the first settlers on the island from Africa. The Silbo Gomero can travel for 2 miles or 3,2 km. Silbo Gomero is thriving as it has been taught in La Gomera schools since 1999. It is now a protected language. Silbo Gomero is an intangible cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO.
Another whistling language is Mazateco, spoken by the Mazateco Indians living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their whistles are used to greet them. It was not a fully developed whistling language but evolved from the natural tonal features of the Mazatec language. Whistlers are simply using the pitch and rhythm of the language, rather than the words. Therefore, the whistling of the Mazatec language was taught only to men.
3. Chinantec In Sochiapam
In the Chiltepec region of South-Central Mexico of San Pedro Sochiapam, Chinantec speakers whistle their language. Only men whistled, with most of them elderly. However, the whistling language is understood by everyone in the community. Most speakers of this language live on the mountainside.
Syfria is spoken in Antia on the island of Evia in Greece. Antia is a very small village located in Mount Ochi. The sound of this language resembles the sound of birds. Syfria is one of the rarest and most dangerous languages in the world. Whistling language is passed from speakers to their children through a closely guarded tradition. Most of the speakers of this language are farmers and shepherds in the community. The population of the village has decreased from 250 to 37. Most of the Syfrian speakers have lost their teeth and therefore cannot whistle. So. This non-verbal language has only six speakers.
The outside world discovered the whistling in 1999 when a plane crashed in the mountains near Antia. Members of the search unit heard shepherds talking in whistling language. Syfrian can travel for distances of 4km or 2.4 miles.
5. Bird Language in Turkey
Çanakçı district is located in Giresun in the mountains of northern Turkey, the village of Kuşköy speaks a whistling language. This language has no name and is called bird language. Shepherds are common speakers of the language. Sadly, most of the speakers are elderly and the language has not been passed on to children. People interested to learn languages today are all men.
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6. Hmong in the Himalayas
The Hmong people living in the foothills of the Himalayas in Vietnam have a version of the whistling language used by hunters and farmers. However, the language has another common use, as a flirting language.
Although rarely practiced today, the Hmong whistling language has been used by boys and girls as a flirting language. The boys would wander through the villages while whistling their favorite poems. If a girl reciprocates, it could be the beginning of a budding relationship.
In addition, whistling languages are spoken in several regions of the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania.
Almost anyone knows how to click their tongue, making the sound 'tsk.' Today, this language can be used to prompt a horse to move, and some people make sounds if they are confused, upset, or may express pity. However, did you know that rattle is also a language?
The Xhosa people of South Africa speak a clattering language. If you've watched The Black Panther, then you've heard how Xhosa is spoken in a series of clicks. The clatter was part of a unique feature of the Khoisan languages that were eventually incorporated into other languages of the Cushitic and Cushitic groups. Tu ban. Clamping is just one part of any of the clattering languages and is all consonant. The clicking sound is very distinct, which can be a sucking sound, a thumping sound or a popping sound depending on the position of the lips and tongue.
Khoisan's clattering languages have four sounds. In southern clattering languages, the fifth sound is called a "kiss" click. The aboriginal languages of Namibia (Yei) and Botswana (Gciriku) have adapted Khoisan's four folds. Xhosa and Zulu only had three splits. In Kenya, Dahalo, a Cushitic language, is used only once. The meaning of a word or phrase in clattering language changes according to the speaker's high, low, decreased, or increased intonation.
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Outside of Africa, the only place with a slang language is Northern Queensland in Australia, where the Lardil and Yangkaal Aboriginal peoples reside on Mornington Island and the Forsyth Islands. These islands are located in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Damin is a ceremonial language and is used by elders when boys are initiated into adulthood. It means 'being silent' in English.
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In addition to whistles and clicks, another non-verbal form of language is the hum, which is spoken by the Pirahã people living deep in the forests of the Amazon near the Maici River. This is the language they use to communicate while hunting. However, language does not travel a long distance from other non-speech languages. In China, Zhenjiang province, hum is also used.
More and more deaf people can easily communicate through sign language. Each country has its own form of sign language.
1. Bedouin Sign Language
In a Bedouin community found in the Negev Desert in Israel, researchers discovered a group of deaf people. Disability has plagued three generations, including their families in Al-Sayyid. The tribe has 3.500 members and more than 150 of them are deaf. As a result, the community built their own form of sign language. The Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL) was formed 80 years ago.
Linguists and researchers are eager to study this language because they are excited about the possibility of learning how language is formed. ABSL does not have much in common with sign language or other spoken languages. Furthermore, they do not have features found in other languages spoken in the region, including Israeli Sign Language, Modern Standard Arabic, and Bedouin Arabic. All three are used in the Bedouin village.
2. Monastic Sign Language
Christian monks in Europe developed their own monastic sign languages around the 10th century. They are not sign languages for each language but more like a vocabulary of signs or figurative gestures. represents the internal use of monks, who must remain silent in specific parts of the monastery. The monks developed a series of hand movements and gestures that they used for nonverbal communication.
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The sound of drums can create long distances. The Kale people of the Congo call their drum the ntumpane, which they use for fast communication over long distances. The process uses a repeatable pattern with help from an expert drummer from each village. Depending on where the message will be sent, the original message is repeated by the next drummer until it reaches the intended recipient. In Africa, a blank message can travel 100 miles or approximately 161 kilometers per hour. Famous among these is the drumming of West Africa, followed by East Africa.
Communication over drums is not considered a language. However, the drum sound is representative of the speech pattern of the natural language. In East and Central Africa, drums represent the tone, syllable length, and stress of the particular language they are using.
Above are some non-verbal languages in the world. You can learn more from our infographic. All these languages are engaging and interesting. Although most are languages, they are very difficult forms of language to learn. However, it would be great if linguists could preserve them.
These nonverbal languages are unique but have no written form. However, Idichthuat Looking forward to discovering that. For spoken languages with written forms that you want translated into other languages, you can Contact us today to get quality – accurate – cheap translations. We have hundreds of native-language translators residing around the world, ready to take on your translation project.