Parrot Has a Language –
Tells Owner about God
From The Toronto Star
by Elvira Cordileone
Ryan Reynolds is a psittalinguist — a person who interprets budgie-speak. Since 1999, he has invested thousands of hours slowing down and deconstructing recordings of his beloved budgie, Victor, who died five years ago at the young age of 3, as well as other talking budgies.
Victor had a vocabulary of 1,000 words, which he used in context, Reynolds says. This shows that animals are far more intelligent that we ever thought possible.
Reynolds, founder of The Budgie Research Group, later reached out to others with talking budgies, hoping to share information. To describe their work, they coined the term psittalinguistics, from psittacidae, or the parrot family.
So what are budgies saying? “This is going to sound crazy, but they talk about spiritual things: God, the afterlife, a better world for them,” Reynolds says.
Reynolds, 50, is semi-retired from an administrative job. He’s the group’s senior translator, thanks partly to his work in radio communications with the Canadian Armed Forces from 1975 to 1985, which helped him develop his listening skills. A sensitive ear is crucial because budgies talk at a rate of 150 to 200 words a minute, he says. “I don’t claim to be 100 per cent (accurate), but other people do hear what I hear. It’s not my imagination,”
Reynolds says. “It takes a lot of skill and concentration. Budgies have a particular way of pronouncing words. It’s like picking up accents.”
Apart from the research group, which numbers 1,000 psittalinguist collaborators from around the world, Reynolds mounted an extensive website that includes captioned recordings of budgies speaking, and he’s working on a book tentatively entitled, The Prophecies of Parrots — the Story of Victor the Budgie.(Note: The website was www.ParrotResearch.com, but I cannot find it any more. Please email me if you have any information on the group).
Reynolds says Victor predicted a “tsunami on the south bank of Asia” and warned of an upcoming “super volcano.”
In the weeks before he died, Reynolds says Victor told him God was coming to take him away.
Copyright ©Stephanie Relfe 2014 – 3000
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