There is a shark-shaped language only three women can speak
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There is a shark-shaped language only three women can speak


Down under in Australia there is a language that only three women speak. Called Yanyuwa, it is an old language which connects aboriginal culture and creatures of the sea. This language is so deeply entwined with the sea and it's creatures, the Aboriginal Yanyuwa people even have a creation story involving a shark. It is also one of the few languages in the world where men and women speak different dialects.


So few speak this poetic-sounding language because it was believed wrong for men and women to speak each other's dialects. As this article states, "Perhaps it’s because men and women had different roles and spent little time together tens of thousands of years ago, or maybe it was a sign of respect to not speak another’s dialect."


There are other "forms" of language such a sign language and a string language taught to children, and both still connect to nature. Children use straw or string to create patterns to represent sea creatures and food.


Imagine if our own language was designed to forbid us from speaking to one another. Definitely some food for thought!




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