Do Parrots Know What They Are Saying? (I Asked Them :)

Parrots are one of the types of birds that people love to take care of. The reason why is because parrots are amusing because they can talk. They can repeat what their owners said, other parrots said, and even other pets’ sounds! However, there is one question people ask about parrots. The question is, do parrots know what they are saying? Let us find out!

Scientists say that parrots probably do not understand the meanings of the words or sounds they are saying. Most parrots are only mimicking their owners but they don’t know what they are saying. But some of the parrots that have been professionally trained have learned to understand some human words. 

Do Parrots Know What They Are Saying
Do Parrots Know What They Are Saying

Today, we will talk about parrots. Parrots are indeed great pets but you must have enough money to sustain them properly. If you have trained your pet parrot properly, your pet parrot can be your best friend. Even though some parrots don’t know what they are saying, it is still possible to train a parrot to express its emotions. So, if you are ready to learn more about parrots, let us proceed!

Do Parrots Understand Human Language?

To be honest with you, most parrots cannot understand human language. However, parrots can learn the patterns and so they develop contextual meanings with certain actions and sounds. 

Let us say that you are always walking near the cage of your parrot and you often say “how are you doing?” to your pet parrot. If you do this often, your pet parrot will start welcoming you with the same phrase. Not because your pet parrot is concerned about you, but because it’s a sort of norm. 

Your pet parrot does not understand what you say and why you say it to it. Your pet parrot is just simply mimicking you and trying to socialize with you on your terms. So, don’t expect that your pet parrot will understand what you say if your pet parrot starts to say the phrase you used to say to your pet parrot.

Can Parrots Have Conversation?

Unfortunately, most parrots cannot. However, parrots are still considered intelligent creatures. Parrots perceive the social situation and so, their responses may be attuned to proper norms. Most talking parrots can fool anyone, especially beginner owners, into believing that they can understand human conversations. 

But all of the things parrots say are just impersonations at the right time and spot. That is why you cannot have a conversation with your pet parrot.

What Do Parrots Talk About Other Birds?

Parrots live in flocks and they communicate with their fellow parrots for some reason. We will discuss the different things parrots talk about with other parrots. 

The first thing parrots talk about with other parrots is their safety purposes. Parrots are hidden underneath the foliage, which means that parrots can only warn other parrots by voicing the approaching danger. 

Next is food resources. This is essential for parrots. Parrots from a flock share food and water locations with each other. This is why birds that are in a flock have a higher chance of surviving in the wild than a bird that is solo. 

Last is to attract mates. Parrots use their voice to get a mate because their voice is their most desirable trait. A parrot may simply pick bits from its surroundings to impress its target.

Why Do Parrots Talk To Humans?

The reason why parrots talk to humans is because of peer pressure. Birds that live in flocks survive better. In the wild, a solo parrot is a dead parrot flying. That is why a captive parrot will try its best to find a new flock. However, for a pet parrot, the options for socializing are quite limited. 

Since a single parrot will only have a human to rely on, the parrot will speak faster and clearer than a group of birds living in a cage.

Do Parrots Repeat What You Say?

Yes! Parrots repeat what you say. But mostly when it fits the context. Most birds have brains that are trained for vocal learning. Therefore, birds can imitate all sounds they can hear. However, parrots have more specialized brains. 

Parrots tend to pick notes associated with social situations and use that as a contact call. For example, the beep of a microwave means a human will rush to it. The parrot will start to imitate that beep sound whenever that parrot wants to call his/her owner. 

That is why parrots can also learn to say “Hello” or “Goodbye” whenever you pick your calls around them. That is why it’s best not to curse around your pet parrot because your pet parrot will imitate it.


To conclude, parrots don’t know the meaning of the words that get out of their little mouths. The only reason why parrots can release different words from their mouths is that they have a good brain that can remember different sounds around them. However, parrots don’t understand what they are saying.

Marian Haaz
Marian is a cat adoption expert. She has rescued and adopted several cats herself and helped find homes for dozens of stray cats and dogs.
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