Scientists say babies decipher speech as early as three months before birth. The evidence comes from detailed brain scans of 12 infants born prematurely. At just 28 weeks’ gestation, the babies appeared to discriminate between different syllables like “ga” and “ba” as well as male and female voices. The research lends support to the idea that babies develop language skills while still in the womb in response to their parents’ voices. But it is still debated whether humans are born with an innate ability to process speech or whether this is something acquired through learning after birth.