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Preeti Parikh, MD

Do My Twins Have Their Own Language?

My toddler twins talk to each other and they seem to understand what each other is saying, but I’m clueless. Could they be speaking their own language?

Twins tend to laugh, chat and have animated, babbly conversations with each other that would lead you to believe they’ve invented their own unique way of speaking. But the jury’s out on whether or not twins have a full language, known only to them. There’s a term — idioglossia — for a form of communication only twins can understand. But it’s actually fairly rare for them to develop their own complete language — in most cases it’s just repetitive babble. These two just happen to “get” each other!

In the end it doesn’t really matter, because all that interaction is great for your  toddlers’ language development (the kind the rest of us understand!). To help move along their verbal skills,  read to them as much as possible to expose them to a wide range of vocabulary. Singing also helps them to pick up words more easily. Chat and interact with your kids as much as possible, pointing out objects and associating them with words, such as “tree” “bottle” or “dog.” It won’t be long until the whole family is chatting away — using the same language.

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