2005-01-22

Oops, le monkey speaks French

Zoo keepers have had to reach for their phrasebooks so they can talk to animals whose command of English is shaky to say the least. The language problem emerged when Port Lympne Wild Animal Park at Hythe, Kent, in southeast England was given 19 Guinea baboons by Paris Zoo, where enthusiastic breeding had led to a surplus. [...]''If we speak English to them they just look completely bemused and don't have a clue what is going on.''

"Our keepers quickly had to learn some basic French commands, as that is all they have ever heard all their lives," said Veronica Chrisp, the zoo's marketing manager, who described the group as a "lovely bunch".

And something a little more light-hearted ...

1 Comments:

Blogger LO said...

My favorite part : "where enthusiastic breeding had led to a surplus".

Back to the "linguistic topic", I think the idea of the workers learning some French words is certainly good for them. Maybe some who do not know French will try to learn it for real.

On the monkeys side, I think they could learn the English commands. Think about it: It's noon, you show them food and say lunch. They would learn in no time.

But "French speaking" monkeys are likely to be more of a hit to the zoo.

11:21 AM  

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