Though it may seem surprising, parakeets are actually among the top talkers; certainly so among the small birds. The males, especially, are pretty good talkers. Teaching them their first few words can be difficult, however, once the first words are learned many parents quickly learn more. Their voices tend to be “small” (of course), and somewhat difficult to understand, however, on the other hand, I’ve heard budgies that could speak very clearly.
Parakeets kept in pairs rarely learn to talk. Single parakeets do it best, cock budgies can be trained more easily than hens, and any bird that has not spoken during its first nine months is unlikely to do so. They learn faster from a single teacher. They can recognize individual voices talking to them but will imitate anything: kettle whistles, other birds, or telephones. Fifty words is a fair maximum. ‘The limit is the patience of the teacher, not the bird,’ says Teaching them their name and address has become popular.