Human characteristics are attributed to many legendary creatures. As part of this anthropomorphization, these mythological animals are often given language abilities. Fairies, elves, gnomes, goblins and genies of folklore speak human languages, and usually in addition to their own tongues. Many fiction writers have created artificial languages and writing systems for these creatures, including J. R. R. Tolkien’s Elvish languages. As for the undead, vampires retain the language skills they had when they were still alive. Zombies are no longer sparkling conversationalists, but they can still mutter “brains!” In popular paranormal theory, ghosts and spirits are believed to communicate with the living, although they often require a medium, or a device designed to contact the dead.

Cryptids are alleged animals whose existence has not been proven scientifically, like the Loch Ness Monster. According to legend, some cryptids are believed to have language skills too, especially hybrid-human creatures, such as Spring-heeled Jack, the Mothman, mermaids, and monkey men. An early version of the mythical goat-sucking chupacabra could allegedly understand Spanish, although not speak it. There are numerous anecdotal reports that the Indonesian cryptid Orang-Pendek (“small human”) communicates using vocalizations similar to non-human primates. What about the most infamous cryptid of all: Bigfoot?

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