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April 09, 2007

Forget teaching gorillas sign-language, let the gorillas teach us "Gorillian"


Since the mid 60s there have been several high profile gorillas and chimps that learned American sign language. Which is cool, but if you're ever lost in the jungle and want to ask a gorilla for directions or to crash in his nest for the night, the chances he will know ASL are slim to nil. Researchers should really get the gorilla to teach them the gorilla language, or "Gorillian". It really only seems fair that if the gorillas goes to the trouble of learning ASL, then researchers should make the effort to learn Gorillian. Some Googling didn't turned up much on the effort, which I find surprising. I'd think by now some researcher working late with an ape that knew sign language would have thought to himself: "Hmm, I wonder what the ape word for banana is?" followed immediately by the realization that right in front of him was an ape who he could just ask...


Yeah, that's a good idea. Don't know why they haven't attempted it yet. I had another idea too, what if they taught a gorilla how to type with a keyboard? Of course, size-appropriate keyboards would have to be made, but imagine the possibilities.

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