So writing about telegrams got me thinking about what it must have sounded like to have a telegram arrive.

I found this site called Morse Resource where I was able to paste one of the telegrams that I mentioned in the previous post, and have it transformed into a Morse Code mp3 so that I could hear would it would sound like as a Morse Code message.

morse

While that was kind of interesting, ultimately I find that it is much more exciting to listen to human beings speak. So I was wondering what it would sound like if people spoke the following telegram message:

“Governor Labuan telegraphs Governor staff Palawan murdered steamer brought Governor’s wife other refugees Sandakan where now quartered. Asks instructions. Wire.”

I found a web site (here) where I could listen to different people reciting this message.

normal

If you paste the text of the telegram on that web page (and press the “translate & speak” button), you can listen to this woman speak in English at different speeds. Personally, I like to listen to her speak at the “slowest” speed.

Chinese slow

Listening to this Chinese woman speaking at the slowest speed is also interesting.

Spanish

And finally, this guy who speaks Spanish sounds pretty good at every speed.

In the end, I guess we have no way of knowing what people sounded like in the late nineteenth century. But it would be cool if they all had sounded like the woman speaking English slowly.

After all, everything in the past was slower. Surely they all must have spoken more slowly too.