The Tourism Faculty of Giresun University has launched a project to create an alphabet for the whistle language used by locals in northern Turkey’s Black Sea region.

The “Kusdili” (bird language), which is a form of communication by imitating the sounds of birds through whistling, is currently used by the residents of Giresun’s Kuskoy village.

As a 500-year tradition, the whistle language was unanimously included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List last year.

Tourism Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Musa Genc told Anadolu Agency that the project aims to preserve the cultural heritage for future generations.

Genc said that musicians and linguists of Giresun University will visit the village and cooperate with whistle language users while creating the alphabet.

The dean explained that records of the language will be first turned into notes, and then into letters.

“By the end of the project, the whistle language used as a communication tool by locals will become more widespread and even an internationally used language,” Genc said.

The “bird language” is currently used by around 10,000 people and can carry messages as far as 5 kilometers with a maximum frequency of 4,000 decibels.

Experts say that it is an adaptation of the Turkish language, as the whistle language uses the full lexical and syntactic information of vocal Turkish.

Similar whistle languages are also present in Mexico, the Canary Islands, France and Greece.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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