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Many Tongues: Polly-Glot a Cracker

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    Bird salesmen (from left to right): Awalu Kulu, Hila Namama, and Ahmed Sani hold up African grey parrots at their roadside pet shop in Abuja, Nigeria. Photo: Drew Hinshaw/The Wall Street Journal

    KANO, Nigeria—Hundreds of languages are spoken in this country: So which one do you teach a parrot?

    It is a decision the pet shops of Nigeria confront every time a talking bird lands in their possession. Last year, a babbling grey parrot arrived at Salisu Sani’s bird stand in this northern city.

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