Language focus | 18.01.2010

Even our canine friends can get lost in translation

We humans have for a long time been convinced that translation services are only useful when trying to communicate with friends, colleagues or prospective ‘human’ clients in foreign climes. It appears we were wrong and that dogs are sometimes confused by foreign languages too! A Manchester based dog rescue home recently discovered that knowledge of a foreign language can be useful when speaking to man’s best friend, the trusty canine.

Staff at the RSPCA centre in Oldham, Greater Manchester initially thought that the new arrival Cent was deaf, as he failed to respond to basic commands of any kind. However, when studying his records a little more closely they discovered that Cent had originally lived with a Polish family. The RSPCA team soon realised that Cent had not been used to the usual English commands and so set about translating “sit”, “come here” and “stay” into Polish. Cent responded positively and the mystery was solved. The team have been busy teaching English to their new arrival, so that he will be able to respond to any potential new owners who may not speak Polish.

If, like Cent, your dog only understands Polish, maybe you can improve communication with your furry friend by trying out the following commands recommended by the BBC website:

Sit – siad

Come here – do mnie

Heel – noga

Stay – zostan

Fetch – aport

Dogs, like humans get used to the language that they hear from birth. If you have a dog who only understands a foreign language, The Translation People would be happy to translate some basic commands into the required language to help improve your relationship with your best friend.

Source BBC

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