Turkish bird language

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Voice of America report on the language, January 2018

Turkish bird language (Turkish: kuş dili) is a version of the Turkish language communicated through high-pitch whistles and melodies. Originally used by Turkish farmers to communicate over large distances and now down to 10,000 speakers, it is at risk of extinction as cell phones replace this purpose. The language is associated with Kuşköy, a village in Turkey's northern Pontic Mountains that has hosted a Bird Language, Culture and Art Festival annually since 1997. UNESCO included the bird language in its 2017 list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. A preliminary study conducted in Kuşköy concludes that whistling languages are processed in both hemispheres of the brain, combining the brain's normal processing of language in one hemisphere and music in the other. Other countries with whistling languages include the Canary Islands, Greece, Mexico, and Mozambique.[1]


  1. ^ Fezehai, Malin (May 30, 2019). "In Turkey, Keeping a Language of Whistles Alive". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.

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