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Toddlers Can Quickly Adapt and Understand Unfamiliar Accents

Portrait of surprised four month baby girl
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Do you have a baby voice? You know, that voice you automatically revert to when addressing babies? (Of course you do.) It doesn't sound at all like your regular voice and even borders on sounding like a different language or dialect.

So how do babies understand us when we engage them with baby talk? Most of the time when we're not speaking to them, we sound completely different!

According to a new study published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, babies can understand new accents and dialects after listening to them for just a short period of time. Even if they had a tough time comprehending initially, babies as young as 15 months old are quickly able to catch on after hearing the accent for small amounts of time.

Researchers at the University of Toronto say that this points to the fact that toddlers have surprisingly sophisticated language comprehension skills. Even though they're not saying much at this time, they're not only learning quickly but are adapting as well.

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