You were born with an accent

Newborn babies have local accents the moment they pop out. A study of 60 babies shows that different nationalities are born having differently accented cries.

A study of the cries of 60 French and German newborns has shown that German babies have emphatic cries that trail off towards the end, and French babies give the last few seconds of their cries tiny lilts. These two melodic tones mimic the tones that German and French adults have when they speak to one another. Although sound is understandably muffled inside a person’s body, the cadence comes through, and the first sound a kid makes shows that they've picked up that cadence. Then again, this might be limited to France and Germany. No definite findings are available on how other babies cry. (But wouldn't it be fun if we knew all baby accents?)


Interestingly, it’s thought that many babies ignore common sounds, like dogs barking or passing cars, because they've already heard it in the womb. The sound didn't mean anything to them inside, and so they don't respond to it when they're outside. It seems that nobody is really new to the world.

[Via ABC News]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter