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Ponta Calls the Election

November 6th, 2012

I asked. He answered.

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  1. Tim Kane
    November 7th, 2012 at 09:48 | #1

    That was brilliant. I loved it!

    Was he speaking back to you in English or Japanese?

    Could Ponta be the first tri-lingo dog?

    Speaks dog, English and Japanese?

    By the way, dogs do have a language. However, it only has one word vocabulary. That word is “hey”.

    Still, how did you teach him(her?) how to do that?

  2. Luis
    November 7th, 2012 at 09:57 | #2

    Still, how did you teach him(her?) how to do that?

    Ponta (male) has a mixed-language vocabulary. Mostly English, but some Japanese.

    We didn’t actually train him to say “Obama.” Instead, Ponta has a naturally soft vocal kind of utterance, very close to the Japanese “wan” (the Japanese version of “woof”). What we’ve been training him to do is to repeat his utterances in multiple syllables; we ask him to “speak” (“Wan!”), “double-speak” (“Wan, wan!”), and “triple speak” (“Wan wan wan!”).

    Then I realized that the three-syllable utterance actually sounded a bit like “Obama,” especially since he accents the second syllable. So I offered him a nice treat of Japanese soft rice, asked him about the election, and gave the hand signal for “triple speak” (you can see my hand’s shadow off frame to the right). That’s the video.

  3. Jim
    November 7th, 2012 at 13:23 | #3

    Well done Ponta!

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