Koko's Story動物界的明「猩」 ─ Koko
This is the story of how a gorilla showed people that maybe we're not quite as special as we thought.
It's often been said that the ability to communicate is what sets humankind apart from the animal kingdom. Animals, of course, have their own ways of speaking to one another. However, one creature in particular has come closer to a human level of communication than any other. Her name is Koko the gorilla.
Koko's journey began when she was just one year old. In the early 1970s, she was loaned from her birthplace at the San Francisco Zoo to a woman named Francine Patterson to be used in her psychology research. As part of her project, Patterson decided to teach Koko sign language. At first, Koko was only supposed to be with Patterson for four years. That, however, would just be the beginning.
Koko 在年僅一歲時展開了這趟旅程。七○年代早期，牠出生的舊金山動物園將牠借給一位名叫法蘭辛‧派特森的女士做心理學研究使用。作為計畫的一部分，派特森決定教 Koko 手語。起先，Koko 本該只會與派特森待在一起四年。不過，那卻只是一個開端。
Teaching a gorilla sign language is a slow, difficult process. Patterson and Koko interacted daily as the great ape grew up. During these periods, Koko had to learn how to connect certain movements and gestures of her hands and fingers with spoken English words. Koko slowly came to master about 1,000 signs and understand nearly 2,000 English words. This is about the same as the speaking ability of an average kindergarten student.
教導一隻大猩猩手語是一段緩慢且困難的過程。派特森與 Koko 朝夕相處，伴隨著這隻大猿長大。在那時候，Koko 必須學會將特定動作和牠雙手及手指的手勢與口語英文單字作連結。慢慢地，Koko 掌握了大約一千種手勢，還懂將近兩千個英文單字。這和一個一般幼兒園學生的口語能力相當。