Do Parrots Understand Language?

Parrots are highly intelligent and social creatures, and they are emotional creatures as well and can bond and love their owners and their cage mates, or whoever spends more time with them.

But, do Parrot Understand Language?

No, parrots can not understand human language. Although some parrots have an exceptional ability to mimic words they hear repeatedly, they cannot understand what are the meanings of those words. However, and with proper training, most parrots can respond to commands, just like any other type of pet.

Some parrots might understand certain words, and they might use them if they know it could bring something interesting for them

And in this article, we will dive into everything related to this topic. So, without further ado, let’s get into this.

Do Parrots Have Vocal Cords?

language dictionary

Do Parrots Understand What they Say?

And the answer is yes and no. Initially, Parrots can not understand the words they learned how to say. Learning how to say one word differs from learning the meaning of it. For us people, we need to just look for the meaning of any word and we can get the idea right away. But for parrots, it’s totally different. Yes, they learn how to say most of the words, at least the parrot types that can talk. But for them to understand what is the meaning, they will need a fine amount of training.

And just like dogs and cats, most parrots can understand and respond to commands. They can also make a link between a certain word and their favorite food, at least if you kept saying it when you feed it to them. And with few words of these, parrots can actually use them to ask for what they want. Just like with the parrot Alex, who was the first parrot to be under research about his brain functionality.

This parrot could actually use words to ask questions and to express some of his desires. However, Alex’s case is extremely rare, and it was going under the supervision of scientists, which is not the case with most pet parrots.

So, no parrot can’t understand what they saying unless they went under training or made some type of link between a word and its meaning. For example, when your pet parrot calls for your name, and you immediately show up, then the parrot will link between your name and playing and interaction time with you, which is the favorite thing for parrots to do for fun.

And in most cases, when parrots repeat the words they hear their owners say, they won’t be actually able to understand what is the meaning of those.

Another example of parrot linking is when the parrots cry. Here, there must be a baby in the household, and the parrot must have noticed that the crying voice of the baby is bringing attention. And attention is what all parrots want from their owners, so they will cry to get attention.

So, training and links are the only ways for parrots to understand what they are saying.

Are Parrots Able to Understand Grammars?

No, understanding grammar for parrots is almost impossible. Although some parrots can say sequences of sentences and with correct grammar, it’s not because they understand the grammar of the sentences, it’s only because they can mimic longer phrases, and of course, because they repeatedly hear them.

However, not all parrots can repeat longer words and phrases, most parrots will say one or two words, though some of them can memorize hundreds of words.

Can Parrots Understand Human Speech?

In most cases, and whilst the speech is occurring between 2 persons, all parrots can not understand what was being said.

But, if the speech is happening from the owner towards his pet parrot, then is probable the parrot might get the idea or the meaning behind it after repeating it more often.

This speech between the owner and the parrot is some sort of training, so with time, it’s possible for the pet parrot to understand a big chunk of what was being said, especially if it has words of commands behind in it.

And this is because of the simple nature of the words being used, I am not saying the parrot will understand complicated words. No, what I am saying is that training your parrot will make him able to understand commands.

If you consider commands as a speech, then yes, parrots might understand speech.

Can Parrots Communicate With Humans & Other Parrots?

Parrots demand a substantial amount of interaction and socializing time, whether it was with their owners or with their mates. And with this demand, there must be some sort of ability to communicate with others.

So yes, parrots can communicate. In fact, parrots are communicating all the time and mostly using their vocal abilities and body language, in case they are communicating with each other. In fact, parrots are vocal, body communicators, just like us. Dogs and cats communicate mostly through their body language.

However, and to some extent, parrots use body language to communicate with individuals of their own. But with humans, it’s mostly through vocal noises and sounds.

The only time a parrot is not communicating or trying to communicate is when he is sleeping or when is alone.


In conclusion, parrots can not understand the language or the words they say. At least compared to the understanding level of any human being. However, and with proper training, parrots might understand commands and any word that they have linked to their favorite things, whether it was food, toy, or whatever. So, if you can call this an understanding of words and language, then yes parrot, to some extent, can understand these.

And yes, that’s about it, hope you enjoy reading this article, Thank you for reading…