Tintin Fans
 
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When Tintin sets foot on the island that could be the location of Red Rackham's treasure, he is struck dumb in amazement. He discovers parrots that are still squawking Sir Francis Haddock's insults, many generations after the illustrious Sir Francis left the island. Are we nothing more than parrots ourselves? Where do all the languages we speak today come from? Is there a unique and original language? 
When Tintin sets foot on the island that could be the location of Red Rackham's treasure, he is struck dumb in amazement. He discovers parrots that are still squawking Sir Francis Haddock's insults, many generations after the illustrious Sir Francis left the island. Are we nothing more than parrots ourselves? Where do all the languages we speak today come from? Is there a unique and original language? 

You need to stand on your back legs to speak!

To repeat something "parrot-fashion": how many times have we heard this little expression? The multi-coloured birds have a bad reputation: they only imitate sounds without being aware of the meanings. And what about us? Many thousands of years ago, our ancestors had to do the same thing: repeat sounds, but in this case those grunted by another human being. And these sounds took on special meanings, which allowed dialogue to develop. More and more scientists have been researching why humans are the only living beings to have developed spoken communication. Some believe that when our far-off ancestors (a few million years ago) began walking on their hind legs (thereby becoming bipeds), this also affected their physical development including the arrangement of their internal organs. One of the organs affected was the larynx, which developed in a very different way than that of our nearest cousins, chimpanzees and... pigs, which walk on four legs. 


The first spoken language.The mystery of the first language ever spoken by a human being, has captivated thinkers since ancient antiquity. In an attempt to solve the riddle, in the sixth century B.C. the Spartans conducted an experiment. They took two new-born babies from their mothers and left them with... sheep. The shepherds that were chosen to look after them were all unable to speak. The aim was to isolate the children from all human influence and to discover what words they would spontaneously exclaim when they reached a certain age.
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Sooner or later the two children began to make noises that sound like "bekos". This word meant bread in Spartan dialect, and the children repeated it when they were hungry. The Spartans thought that this was proof that the oldest language ever spoken was Spartan. Never mind the witty Athenian who remarked that "bekos" sounded like the bleating noise the sheep were making! 
9/22/2011

It was hilarious when the insults of Sir F. Haddock was being heard generations later. Captain and Tintin became very suspicious.

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