How Parakeets Talk
The sound of a well-trained parakeet saying the words "good morning" may sound barely discernible from a human, but parakeets do not talk in the same way humans do. Parakeets do not have vocal chords. Instead, they speak by directing the airflow to go through the muscles in their throat, recreating pitches and sounds that they hear in everyday life. Although parakeets may be considered intelligent birds because they can speak, they are only mimicking phrases they have previously heard, and do not know the meaning of these phrases. A very well-trained parakeet can be taught to say specific sounds or phrases prompted by a hand motion or vocal cue. Parakeets do not have real conversations and usually can only repeat a handful of sounds or phrases.
Types of Talking Parakeets
It is difficult to tell which parakeets will learn to talk as they grow and develop. Some parakeets, particularly males, are easier to train than females. By purchasing a male parakeet, there is a good chance your bird will talk, but each parakeet is different and may not necessarily want to learn. The best way to purchase a parakeet that talks is to buy your bird from a previous owner who has already taught his parakeet to talk. Although this may take some of the fun out of teaching your parakeet, you will be guaranteed to have a parakeet that is capable of learning words and phrases. The likelihood of a young male parakeet learning to talk is based on how much time you are willing to put into training him. Speaking to your parakeet on a regular basis is important, as well as leaving the television or music on when you leave the house.
How to Train Your Talking Parakeet
Start training your parakeet to speak by making sure he is happy and healthy. The parakeet's cage should be large with plenty of water, food and places to play. If you are keeping an unhappy parakeet, it probably will not talk no matter how much you train him. Speak clearly when addressing your parakeet, making sure to repeat the phrases you would like him to say. Only teach your parakeet one phrase at a time. If your parakeet has not fully learned the first phrase before you start with the next one, he will become confused and forget both phrases. Parakeets love hard consonant sounds, like words that contain K and T. Therefore, a word like "picnic," is a fun and easy word to teach your parakeet. As your bird begins learning new words and phrases, it will become easier for him to pick up things you are saying. Once your parakeet is more advanced, it is possible to get him to identify objects and do impressions. For instance, if you would like your parakeet to imitate a celebrity, play a tape of a specific celebrity and you will be able to teach the parakeet to mimic different voices.
Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.