You may not want your African Grey parrot to learn to talk your ear off like your mother-in-law and best pal do, but with patience, you can teach him to speak a few easy phrases. You’ll succeed if your African Grey is still young and in good health.
Talk to your parrot just as a human infant would do in a clear, soothing voice. Begin by repeating simple phrases to him. Speak calmly and be patient with him, just like you are a young kid who is learning a new talent. Continuous repetition will assist the feathered friend understand faster. Try to include some words that commence with “P” or “B”, like “Pretty Bird,” which are quite easy for parrots to repeat. When your pet successfully repeats a phrase or word, emphasize it for several days before moving on to another new word or phrase.
Use words that depict your actions so he can start on to make the connection between the two. For example, say “Hello” when you come into the room where his cage is, “Goodbye” when you go out and “Good food” when you feed him. Greet him “Goodnight” when you cover his cage at the end of the day. Don’t lose hope if you don’t see instant results – it may take quite a few weeks of repeating the process before your African Grey finally follows you and speak.
Speak passionately — your African Grey buddy will more easily learn those phrases that have strong sentiments behind them. For that cause, he may also pick up phrases or words that he overheard and that you’d rather not want him to repeat, such as “I hate my boss” or ” Shut up!” or your preferred 4-letter word. So do mind your language when you are around African Grey Parrot because he could repeat what you said at inopportune times, including when you are around children. Like If you say “I can’t bear my mother-in-law” to a friend on the telephone, don’t be amazed if your bird repeats your emotions when your in-laws are at your place for dinner.
Give a name to the toys and food you give your African Grey, so he can learn to recognize objects with words. Say “seed” when you fill up his food dish, or “grape”, “orange” and “apple” when you serve him a slice of fruit. Do the same with his favorite toys — speak the word “bell” when he rings the bell in his cage or “string” when he plays with one. Compensate him with the proper food after he successfully names it. For example, if he says “nut,” make sure to feed him one. Keep in mind giving a treat is a must whenever he speaks what you want your African Grey to speak.