An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Sunday, April 03, 2005

a conversation with Chantek

Susan Antonetta's Language Garden for Orion Magazine details a poignant one on one (well, with some assisted "translation") conversation with ~~~ Chantek, resident orangutan of Zoo Atlanta in Georgia.

I know very little sign, so Lyn asks Chantek to teach me some. Chantek has an active vocabulary of about three hundred words and a passive vocabulary of a thousand or more, which he can comprehend either by speech or by sign. We start with the basics.

Teach her apple, says Lyn.

Chantek shows me apple, brushing his cheek. I mimic him, and Good, he signs, then asks Lyn what's wrong with her hand, which has a scratch on the knuckle.

I did it cleaning, she tells him, and he makes a grimace of sympathy, then asks to touch and kiss it.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:32 PM :: 0 Comments:

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