We understand that even the idea of a language that doesn’t involve speaking sounds absurd and unbelievable. However, if you ever look at the history, you will find out that people have come up with numerous surprising ways to interact and communicate. Be it a sign language, tapping, whistling, drumming, and whatnot.
Therefore, the concept of unspoken language may not be so alien. There are various ways to talk and share the message with others that you can learn from different regions of the world. In fact, they actually comprise letters, vowels, and consonants.
Don’t believe us? Then take a read through this article to know about five such languages:
The Talking Drum
Drumming has been a traditional language in West Africa for centuries and is still used by people to communicate. It can be considered as a lifesaver because it played a significant role in the slave trade. Villagers and kidnapped locals used talking drum which was hourglass-shaped to copy the accent and tone of their speech. Through it, they shared the message with people secretly over distance despite the marauding slave traders. The skilled players could even create the whole sentences on the drum by using the cords that ran down its side to control pitch. This language is still used amongst friends to interact, but mostly it is alive in the culture of West Africa through music.
The one sound that has been continuously present in the narrow volcanic ridges and valleys of the island of La Gomera for centuries is whistling. People living in this region are bilingual in Spanish and Silbo Gomero, and use whistled version of the Spanish language to communicate with each other. This language has been used since the 16th century to talk from distances of over 3 kilometers. This whistle language utilizes the natural formations of the small and circular volcanic island and consists of 4,000 words that echo up and down La Gomera. Therefore, creating a beautiful, unique and ethereal atmosphere. Most of the natives of the island understand this form of interaction and the older inhabitants are fluent with it. However, as the threat of extinction is increasing for Silbo Gomero over the past years, the government is promoting it as a part of school learning.
This language that is popular in the remote Piraha tribe of the Amazon rainforest is unmatched when it comes to simplicity. There are merely eight consonants with three vowels which is why it is regarded as one of the simplest tongues in the world. The letters that are not included in it use sounds. Moreover, there are complex tones with various syllable lengths that give diversity to the eleven letters. Here is another interesting thing: as it uses a limited number of consonants and vowels and complex range of tones, the Piraha speakers usually drop them entirely and merely hum their sentences to forego speech altogether. Another extraordinary aspect of this language is that it has no numbers.
The Tapping POWs
This unspoken language was coined after American prisoners of war (POWs) were restricted to interact with each other. They came up with a genius way of communicating with each other while they were locked in Vietnamese prisons, i.e., tapping. The POWs created a system of taps, which was similar to Morse code. Through this language, they would form words and even complicated sentences by tapping out letters. For example, informing others about interrogation and what to expect when officials questioned them. Well, one may argue of it can be claimed as a language. The answer is that tapping was used as an exchange of letters & words and also expresses emotions, such as sadness, depression, elation, excitement, and sarcasm. Hence, it is qualified to be included in this list.
This nearly extinct 2,500-year-old language also has some surprising elements to it that will definitely make you keen to learn about it in detail. Firstly, it is that only six people in the world know how to communicate in Sfyria. Second, it sounds more like birds singing which is no less than a linguistic feast. Furthermore, unlike Silbo Gomero, this language has a completely unique vocabulary and grammar rather than being a whistled version of an already spoken language. It is suggested that this tongue was developed as a technique to warn the residents of a tiny mountainous village called Antia (located on the little-known Greek island of Evia) about invading pirates. Sadly, as the population of this remote village is falling, the number of Sfyria speakers is also decreasing.
We hope that you enjoyed reading about these unspoken languages which are getting lost with time. If you are someone who always looks for something new and unique to learn, then why not give one of these aforementioned languages a try? Well, think about it once.
Author’s Bio: John is an academic writer who assists students with their college papers. Scholars, who often look for writing assistance often ask him- Can you do my assignment? And he is always on his toes to deliver a top-notch academic paper to them.