Whistling is pretty common. People whistle, or try to, at least once in their life. Some do it for fun, some do it to pass on short messages over long distances. But did you know that whistling is actually a language on the little Spanish Island of La Gomera? The language is called Silbo Gomero and the locals still use it to communicate. It’s completely whistle-based.
What does it sound like? Like the sweetest bird’s sweetest song! Oh, it’s such a peaceful and sweet-sounding language. In it, Spanish words are replaced by four non-vowel sounds (consonants) and two whistled vowels. The Gomero whistle language can be heard up to 3 km!
And that’s quite useful considering the territory consists of deep valleys and homes scattered around. We think whistling sweetly is a much better form of communication for such a landscape rather than shouting out messages.
It’s believed that settlers from Africa used whistles to communicate, all the way back in the 15th century. Then when Spanish speakers arrived on the island, the whistlers adapted their language to Spanish words.
This ancient language is now taught in the schools there. To give you a rough picture, you curl your index or middle finger, sandwich it between your lips, and whistle.
If you feel adventurous, then try to learn Silbo Gomero!