I've always found it fascinating that dogs "bark" in different languages. Though we say "ruff ruff" in English, that same noise is expressed as "ouah, ouah" in French. Now here's something even cooler: German researchers have started to think that babies' wails sound different depending on what language their parents speak.
The scientists observed 60 babies born to families speaking French and German and found that the infants could be absorbing their parents' accents from inside the womb. In the last three months of pregnancy, babies have already begun to memorize sounds, and based on the analysis of the babies' cry "melodies," the sounds mapped closely to the parents' accents:
The French newborns cried with a rising "accent" while the German babies' cries had a falling inflection.
Writing in the journal Current Biology, they say the babies are probably trying to form a bond with their mothers by imitating them.
The findings suggest that unborn babies are influenced by the sound of the first language that penetrates the womb.
Fascinating, right? Now I want to hang out with a big international gang of babies and see if their cries all sound different. Wait, that means being trapped in a room with a bunch of crying babies — nevermind!