Scientists from the University of Würzburg in Germany have been shaken by a discovery that even newborns cry in their native language. "While French newborns more often than not produce cries with a rising melody contour, tiny Germans tend to cry with falling contours," goes their report. This presumably has to do with different intonation patterns the baby hears while still a fetus in the womb and which it reproduces after birth.

Now while we are might be familiar with the secrets of newborns, we have also diagnosed a serious disorder among adults: a significant decrease in IQ levels when in the company of little ones. It must be that parents and other adults do their best to keep up with their children, which explains why they babble instead of talking in a normal language. But just as your bundle of joy screams in his native tongue, adult babble varies from country to country. For instance, when a baby hurts himself, the European imagination simply runs riot: in baby language a cut or a bump can be called bua (in Italian), pupa (in Spanish), bobo (in French) or kuku (in Polish).

And what about how the ways we catch a nipper''s attention? Spaniards usually say ajo, ajo whereas the Brits prefer to say goo goo ga ga****, several hundred times. Another old method of keeping the tots quiet is a rhyme recited when plucking baby's toes

***Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Catch a baby by the toe

If it squeals let it go,

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe***

The Germans show off a bit more creativity in baby language. The song Wadde hadde du de da? (What have you got there? in baby language) performed by Stefaan Raab represented Germany in the Eurovision song contest in 2000. It came in fifth. Clap handies.

Marysia Amribd (Translation – Paulina Dominik)