Do Parrots Understand Language & The Words They Say?

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

But, do Parrots Understand Language? Is one of the common questions that comes naturally when seeing a parrot that is able to talk and mimic humans’ sounds.

And to get to the point, the answer is no, parrots can not understand human language. Although some parrots types have an exceptional ability to mimic words they hear repeatedly, they are not able to understand what are the meanings of those words. However, and with proper training, most parrots can understand and respond to their owners’ commands, just like any other type of pet.

Nonetheless, some parrots might understand certain words, and they might use them if they know that 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.

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 is different 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 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 have the ability to 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 are also able to 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 was actually able to 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 links 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 most 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 are the meaning of those.

Another example for parrot linking is when the parrot cry, in this case there must be a baby in the household, and the parrot mush 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 parrot 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 grammars, it’s not because they understand the grammars or the sentences, it’s only because they have the ability to mimic longer phrases, and of course because they hear them repeatedly.

However, not all parrots are able to repeat longer words and phrases, most parrot will say one or two words, though some of them can memorize 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 owners 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 that training your parrot will make him able to understand command.

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

Can Parrots Communicate With Humans & Other Parrots?

Parrots demand high amount of interaction and socializing time, whether it was with their owners or with their mates. And with this huge 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. In fact, parrots are vocal communicators just like us, dogs and cats are, they communicate mostly through their body language.

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

The only time 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 in comparison 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…