It’s not very often we consider the thought processes of fetuses, but recent research at the German University of Wurzburg has shed some light on the acquisition of language in the womb. The method is indirect, as the study does not actually test fetuses themselves; instead researchers analyzed the cries of 30 German and French babies in the first few days of their lives. With this analysis, Dr. Wermke of Wurzburg states that they could find distinct patterns in the crying which matched with broad linguistic patterns within the child’s native language (what he or she heard from their mother). She states that just as intonation in French phrases tends to rise in pitch, yet falls in German, similar patterns could already be found in the newborns’ cries.
What this study suggests is that in the last trimester of pregnancy, babies are already able to connect and pick up on the sound of their mother’s voices outside of the womb! Upon birth French newborns have already started learning the very basics to French, giving them a so-called “Gallic twang,” amazing!
After reading this article, I quickly called my aunt who is 6 months pregnant and told her to keep talking to her little Noah in Vietnamese. It’s wonderful to know that our language can be instilled in the next generation so early on! This study just further proves that babies are living and learning while still in the womb. How can we ever cut that life short?
To read more about this study click on this website: http://www.ndtv.com/article/offbeat/babies-cry-in-their-mother-tongue-11152