Thursday, February 24, 2011

Secret Speak

Do you have a secret language with your best friend that only both of you can understand? Many of us, it seems, can give our friends certain looks and show gestures to suggest what we’re thinking and feeling. These friends are able to pick up and comprehend these gestures and looks. However, do you have a secret dialect that you share with someone else? Me neither. How cool would that be though?

A lot of the time I am asked whether Bri and I have a certain language which we just have with each other. As much as I would like to say yes (I think it’d be pretty cool to talk about the cute guy across the room without anyone else knowing what we’re talking about!), we speak the same language as pretty much everyone in the United States: English. Boring, I know.
I’ve always thought these secret twin languages were really interesting, but I didn’t know anything about these languages and why they exist. How do they develop? Why do they develop? What do the languages really sound like? Is it good or bad for the twins involved? Armed with these questions, I decided to research what secret twin languages really are.
According to, this language shared between only twins is known by many terms such as twin language, idioglossia, and cryptophasia. Many twins, however, have delayed or poor speech development. This can occur in one twin or both and their speech and interactions between one another are misinterpreted as a secret language. It basically sounds like baby babbling when they speak to one another.
Many researchers believe that this delayed development in speech, and according to this website, is caused by a low birth rate and prematurity. This happens to occur in 60% of twins. Some researchers also believe that this type of development happens because twins spend more one-on-one time with each other, not their parents. This interaction can influence their language development.
So, do secret twin languages not exist? Although most of the time there is language development problems involved, according to the article, there are still twins that make up their own secret languages to communicate. Secret twin speak, although rare, is not a myth. Pretty cool, huh?



  1. That would be totally awesome! You should do it and prove that non-developmentally delayed twins make better and more advanced secret languages than ever! You guys should try it! =)

  2. This language thing is so interesting. I've never heard of anything like that before between twins so reading your research on it was something new to me. It does sound awesome and it would be cool if you and your sister did try it!

  3. I think it's interesting that you guys don't have a secret language. Maybe what they mean by secret language is not needing to say a lot to know what the other one is thinking but outsiders have difficulty understanding. But it does sound like they mean a new language which is really interesting that they can create structures and terms on their own.