Dolphins are some of the smarter animals out there in the ocean, and they have been trained by military experts to help locate mines in the past. Would it be possible to communicate with dolphins in an even more intimate manner, through the use of language translation? That might have been dreamed up before, but this time around, a bunch of scientists have been developing a human-to-dolphin language translator which sounds crazy enough to work.
Denise Herzing, the director of the Wild Dolphin Project and creator of the Cetacean Hearing Telemetry device (CHAT), was stunned when he first heard of a successful dolphin translation, which could mean a breach in the wall of one way communication between humans and dolphins.
CHAT works this way – underwater microphones will be used to capture dolphin noises, including clicks and whistles, where most of them are inaudible to the human ear because of the different frequency. Instead of translating all the sounds, Dr. Herzing “taught” the dolphins eight “words” which are related to their environment, including “seaweed” and “bow wave ride”. This strategy allowed Herzing to narrow the wide audio range to eight identifiable noises.
The first successfully mimicked sound happened to be “seaweed”, and while it has been heard only once so far, it might be the precious first step to a bright future. Do bear in mind that one ought to have a healthy dose of realism, as we won’t be having conversations about our day as well as what jerks some friends can be with Flipper anytime soon.