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Bilingual Animal

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Jack: How did you learn to speak English?
Shoeshine: How should I know?
Jack: Can you speak other languages?
Shoeshine: A little Retriever. Some Shih Tzu. My Chihuahua is a little rusty, though.
Jack: Okay, I mean other human languages.
In real life, animals have languages but they obviously don't speak English or any human language.note  Nevertheless, fictional animals are often shown as being able to speak to humans. However, there may be times when an animal character, who has previously been established as having the ability to speak to humans, is also shown speaking to other animals. This trope makes it clear to the audience that the animal really is speaking English and it's not just realistic animal noises being translated into English. If not, it's human speech being translated into English.
One gag involving the Bilingual Animal is a variation on Baby's First Words where a baby animal either learns to communicate with humans after exclusively using Animal Talk or learns the animal language when previously it could only communicate with humans.

Bilingual Animals can also serve as interpreters between humans and animals and a Silly Animal Sound might be treated as them speaking a "foreign language". In some cases, the animal can't speak a human language but knows how to write, like Snoopy in Peanuts or Charlotte in Charlotte's Web.

If an animal makes its "natural" sounds instead, that's a Furry Reminder. Compare Speaks Fluent Animal for when a human can speak both human and animal languages.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Shirogane is a cat that became a sapient, talking ayakashi, but he's occasionally shown he can speak to regular cats as well.
    Suzu: Aren't you supposed to be at the cats' meeting?
    Shirogane: Not many cats came today, so the meeting was dismissed.

    Literature 
  • In Charlotte's Web, most of the animals can only speak in Animal Talk, but Charlotte the Spider can write words in her web and thus communicate with humans.
  • Discworld: Recurring character Gaspode the Wonder Dog learned to speak Morporkian (i.e. English) via magic, but has no trouble speaking to other dogs, or even wolves. On several occasions, he acts as a cross-species translator.
  • Dinotopia:
    • Bix and others of her subspecies, Protoceratops Multilinguis, can speak both human and saurian languages and act as translators. Chaz is another of this species who pops up in the novels. The film and T.V. series replaces them with a multilingual Troodon.
    • One of the digest novels, Windchaser, has a Skybax with the unique ability to speak to humans. It hurts his throat, though.
  • Garfield's Judgement Day: This book reveals that all of the neighborhood animals can speak to humans, but have always chosen not to do to a "rule". They consider breaking the rule to warn their owners about the impending disaster.
  • Harry's Mad: Being an African Gray Parrot, Madison (or Mad) is fully capable of speaking English (though he has a pronounced American accent and has to remember that Americans and the English use different words for the same thing), but after returning home and meeting the family's other parrot Fweddy, reminds the Holdman family that he can also speak fluent parrot. He uses his talents to help Fweddy learn better English.

    Webcomics 
  • In Sandra and Woo, Woo the raccoon and his kits is uniquely capable of talking to both humans and animals.

    Western Animation 
  • In 101 Dalmatian Street, Animal Talk is played entirely straight while at one point, dialogue suggests that understanding humans is like learning a second language for them. A human character is shown having learned to at least speak dog, unfortunately for the Dalmatian family, as he's an antagonist.

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