Fun discrimination fact: Every dog that played Lassie was male, due to male collies having a "better, fuller coat." Also, none of them were black. Just saying.
For our purposes, the key point is that apparently Lassie's owners' intelligence is even more remarkable than Lassie's because they can understand dog language. Of course, they don't actually speak dog language back to Lassie because that would be beneath them, and Lassie needs to remember her place.
Beneath the oppressive feet of the patriarchy.
OK maybe Lassie shouldn't be expected to be able to speak English with her dog vocal cords. But what about the Chinese? Studies indicate that Chinese people may be capable of learning to make basic English sounds. But you wouldn't know it when they show up in movies. Take the Amazing Yen from the Ocean's Eleven movies.
The one in the Mao hat.
He doesn't speak a word of English. Oh, he's understanding it perfectly. He just chooses to speak Mandarin, because it's a funny sounding language. Of course, Danny Ocean's entire crew understands everything he says perfectly despite never indicating that they can speak a word of it. I realize they're smart crooks, but every single one fluent in Mandarin Chinese? Really?