It was a surprise to read Sarah Souli’s piece on a unique language called Sfyria in the small village of Antia in Greece. It’s a speech registrar that uses whistling as a means of communication. Though we are familiar with whistling when it comes to training pets, music or the wolf-whistle, whistling as a language was unknown to me, Apparently, whistling communities exist in other parts of the world as well, particularly where climatic conditions are adverse and the terrain dense.
“It’s the same as modern Greek — the grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure all remain intact — but the sounds come out in high-pitched musical notes. Each letter of the alphabet is individually whistled (alpha, beta, gamma), and strung together to create an ariose warble.”
The interesting part about whistling is that it’s an effective means of communicating across distances as the whistle is shrill and can move up to four kms unlike when you shout. You also need strong teeth to whistle! However, Sfyria is a dying language, like many rare languages in the world and that’s a shame. It started dying because of the various means of communication that emerged, particularly the telephone.
Read Here they be Whistlers.