Do Parrots Understand What They Say?

One of the most significant aspects of raising a parrot is hearing them communicate and replicate things we say.

Often times people will seek out the adoption of a parrot simply for this reason.

Truth be told, as great as it is to adopt a parrot and hear them talk, realize there’s a lot attached to the entire situation for them to talk properly.

With this in mind, do parrots understand what they say?

To answer this question…no, parrots don’t understand the words they’re saying but are somewhat aware of the context surrounding words. For example, they might not know the word fruit is a part of the broad phrase of food, but instead know that saying fruit can mean they want a fruit to eat. Parrots tend to remember phrases and have the ability to learn a lot in communication, making it enjoyable for us to find out what they know.

Still, it can be difficult for us to study and highlight if a parrot knows what they’re saying as it’s practically impossible to do such a task.

What we do know is they have some sort of understanding for simple phrases and can replicate more extensive phrases if appropriately taught.

So, the real answer is a mixed bag rather than a straight no.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested more in this subject, look no further.

Down below will take an in-depth look at everything you’ll need to know regarding parrots and their ability to understand what they’re saying.

We’ll discuss a few parrot species and compare them to other parrots, how you can help them understand, why parrots talk, and much more.

Be sure to utilize this information to get a better understanding of your parrot.

Let’s take a look!


Do cockatoos understand what they say?

On the grand scheme of parrot species, cockatoos tend to be some of the most difficult to train in the speaking spectrum.

Still, this doesn’t mean cockatoos can’t speak, as there are plenty of cockatoos that do precisely that.

Usually, cockatoos that can speak have a softer and sweeter voice compared to other parrots.

Because of their naturally soft voice, it’s easy to assume cockatoos also have a challenge knowing what they’re saying.

Keep in mind, Cockatoos can mimic almost any sound, making it possible for you to teach them a large vocabulary if you can get them started in the subject.

Remember, it takes a lot of time and patience.


Do African greys understand what they say?

People tend to seek out African greys for not only their size and excellent look, but for their incredible ability to communicate.

Most African greys are experts speaking-wise, meaning they’re amongst the easiest parrot species to teach any language.

As for knowing what they’re saying, African greys are very understanding regarding a phrase and its meaning.

In fact, Einstein the African grey is one of the most talkative parrots in the entire world while having a deepened knowledge on how to ask for food and say hello.

It’s very remarkable.


Do parakeets understand what they say?

Similar to African greys who are fantastic at speaking, parakeets are also some of the most vocal parrots.

However, instead of being articulated with a human language, parakeets are amongst the best for learning songs and singing.

They tend to not speak as clearly as African greys, which is why they tend to sing more than anything.

As for understanding what they’re saying, they’re in a similar boat as African greys.

They might know a few phrases, but they can’t form sentences independently without being asked a question and knowing what the answer is.

Still, this doesn’t do anything away from their ability to speak, as it’s remarkable either way.


Do macaws understand what they say?


There are a lot of macaw species, making it extremely broad to say whether all macaws can speak or understand what they say.

Still, most macaws can easily mimic human speech while also having some of the clearest vocal deliveries for a parrot.

As a result, people tend to teach macaws from an early age.

Like every other species we’ve discussed, macaws tend to only associate specific phrases and words with things, without ever actually knowing what they’re saying.

If you’re interested in adopting a macaw for this reason, blue and gold macaws tend to be the easiest to teach for mimicking speech.


How do you help a parrot understand what they say?

Adopting a parrot that has the potential to speak is one thing, but getting them to speak and understand what they’re saying is another.

Parrots are a lot smarter than most humans realize and can relate a particular noise with something as long as you show the meaning.

For example, a parrot has a relatively easy time learning how to laugh and laugh when they hear other humans laugh.

Obviously, they won’t know why something is funny, but once they hear the laughter, then they know it’s their cue to begin laughing.

On the other hand, more complicated subjects can be taught to them as well. Some parrot owners have managed to teach their parrots to make a noise or say a phrase when they’re hungry.

Keep in mind, this is incredibly challenging to do, but once they get the hang of it, it can be useful.

A simple way to do this is to say a word like dinner whenever you feed them.

The more your parrot hears that phrase, the more likely it’ll be for them to say it themselves.

Even if it takes years, keep doing it and see how your parrot progresses along with the subject.


Why do parrots talk like humans?

Asking why parrots talk like humans should be rearranged to ask why parrots mimic human speech as they do.

Truth be told, parrots have a natural love and ability to mimic just about any sound.

So it’s not that they’re geniuses that can learn any language but instead can simply mimic speech.

Again, some parrots can associate a phrase or word with something.

Still, usually, it’s just them repeating the answer to a question their owner taught them.

That’s why when you hear a parrot speak, it’s usually after a human asks them a particular question.

This explanation doesn’t take anything away from the matter, as it’s still a fascinating part of a parrot.

If humans could mimic any language like parrots can, it’d be incredible, but we can’t.

Thus, we should appreciate and highlight a parrot’s ability to do such a thing.


Do parrots understand kisses?

Although not related to speaking and understanding what they’re saying, it’s worth noting that parrots understand some expressions like kisses.

In fact, it’s prevalent for a parrot to mimic a kiss to someone they love or care about, including other parrots.

Parrots have a great time imitating the smooching sound most commonly associated with kissing and do it frequently.

Thus, if you’re near your parrot and they know the trick, expect to blow a few kisses your way.

It’s an adorable gesture that goes a long way with raising your parrot.


Do parrots understand human language?

Although we discussed the specifics related to parrots and their ability to entirely know what they’re saying, we never went over if they understand the human language or not.

Similar to not knowing what they’re saying, the same can be said with the human language.

Parrots can understand short and small phrases, but it’s practically impossible for them to decipher more extensive sentences, even if they know how to say it.

It’s all about imitating the sound from their point of view, meaning it’s not them actually learning the complexities of a language.


Do parrots understand their name?

Yes, parrots can learn their name in the same fashion as a cat or dog can.

If you frequently call them by something, of course they’re eventually going to pick it up.

Some parrots are quicker at learning their name than others, but all parrots have the ability to understand their name.

It’s interesting to see how a parrot understands something such as their name and a kissing noise.

Still, they can’t put together extensive sentences on their own.

Still, it’s an incredible feature of a parrot that makes raising them such a fun experience.

It makes most people want to know what parrots are best at speaking.


What parrots are best at knowing what they’re saying?

The parrots that are best at knowing what they’re saying tend to be the parrots that are best at learning speech.

Learning speech can be a complicated subject for any parrot, as well as their language.

Still, with enough practice, they’ll be speaking in no time.

Plus, the more practice they have, the more likely they are to know what something means.

As for parrots that are great at speaking, African greys, timneh greys, and yellow-naped Amazons are three of the best parrots for communicating.

As a result, expect them to associate a particular phrase or word with something very easily.

It’s a lot more useful and fun than you might realize.

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