Monday, April 16, 2018

Watch Your Language! Speaking to the Dead in Their Native Tongue

It's been awhile since I've posted a Monday Meme, but I saw this one and knew I had to share it. It's hilarious---it definitely made me chuckle, because it is something that I've seen more than once. And every time I see it, I think, "What are they thinking?"

While it is funny, it actually is pretty thought-provoking as well. In today's paranormal investigation/ghost hunting culture, EVP (electronic voice phenomena) work is an integral part of the process. Personally, I feel that some of our strongest data and potential evidence comes from our audio. Therefore, its crucial to do everything possible in order to maximize EVP results. Way back in 2012, I blogged about some EVP Tips and Tricks, but I didn't really go in depth about language.

I understand that not all of us are as lucky as the TAPS team is above. Most of us will probably never conduct an investigation in a foreign country where the official language is not that of our own. That doesn't mean that we should just ignore the whole topic of ghosts that speak a different language, however.

This is where a little historic research comes in. Just because you and everyone around you speaks the same language, doesn't necessarily mean that was always the case!  The town of Gallipolis, Ohio was once a French Colony! However, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone living there today that speaks fluid French as a first language, on a regular basis.  In Northern West Virginia, many Italian, Hungarian, and other immigrants worked the coal mines and many never learned much, if any, English at all. You might live in an area that was once home to a large Native American population.

Italian Miners in WV
Photo from Marcia Green Hilton
If you suspect that you might have a ghost that speaks a certain language other than your own, familiarize yourself with a few key phrases that you might want to ask/say during your EVP session. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; a simple "Hello, my name is....What's yours?" is a good start. If an entity can understand you and thinks you can understand it, they may be more likely to attempt communication.

Similarly, you might get an EVP that sounds like speech---but it sounds like its in another language. If you are familiar with some different languages that were spoken in that area or may have been spoken by the people associated with the location, you can more easily and quickly get it translated.

One last thing to consider is it all necessary? I've seen instances where investigators go into a location in a foreign country, speak their own language, and then get an EVP response IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE!  If we use the posted meme for an example, why would a 500 year old German ghost respond to a question in English?  If I could answer that, I'd be a hero in the EVP world. Alas, I am not...but there are a few theories floating around out there:

1. Spirits vs. Ghosts---While the terms are often used interchangeably, its pretty widely accepted that there is a difference between spirits and ghosts. Spirits are entities that are 'higher up,' so to speak. They are the souls of people who have passed and crossed over...but have returned for whatever reason. They may also be entities that were never human, such as nature spirits. Ghosts, on the other hand, are usually described as the souls of deceased persons who are earthbound---they've never crossed over. If you're contacting a spirit, who is a higher being, perhaps things such as language and other earthly constructs are not a problem. They can understand and communicate in any language.

2. You're not really getting a response from any spirit, ghost, or other paranormal entity. Instead, you're picking up radio waves, your own thoughts telekinetically imprinted on the recorder, or tapping into free-floating voices and sounds that are just out there, floating around. I know, it gets a little strange...but that's why we love it right? Part of the joy of paranormal investigation is trying to make the unknown known, to unravel the mysteries that have been eluding us since the beginning of time. Keep searching for answers, and have a wonderfully spooky Monday!

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