Masahiko Kajita, ‘Doctor Dolittle’ of Japan’s number-two toymaker, Takara Co. has invented the smash-hit dog-language electronic interpreter, Bowlingual.

Bowlingual has an eight-centimetre microphone attached to a dog collar, and transmits the dog’s barks and whines to a palm-sized console held by the animal’s master.

The console, equipped with a small display, immediately classifies the sounds into emotional categories such as frustration, menace and joy and shows 200 varieties of matching human phrases.

Time magazine has dubbed the device one of the best inventions of 2002.