International Animal Sounds
November 1, 2004 9:54 AM   Subscribe

International animal sounds : In English, dogs go 'woof', cats go 'meow' and ducks go 'quack'. Does anyone know what noises they make in other languages (or maybe other countries)? [I don't mean to limit this to those three, it just seemed like a good selection to show what I meant...]
posted by twine42 to Society & Culture (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Afrikaans: woef
Albanian: ham ham / hum hum
Arabic (Algeria): haw haw
Bengali: ghaue-ghaue
Catalan: bup, bup
Chinese (Mandarin): wang wang
Croatian: vau-vau
Danish: vov
Dutch: woef
English: bow wow, arf, woof, ruff ruff
English (Old English): Hund byrcĂ°.
Esperanto: boj
Estonian: auh
Finnish: hau hau /vuh vuh
French: ouah ouah
German: wau wau, wuff wuff
Greek: gav
Hebrew: haw haw (/hav hav)
Hindi: bho:-bho:
Hungarian: vau-vau
Icelandic: voff
Indonesian: gonggong
Italian: bau bau
Japanese: wanwan, kyankyan
Korean: mung-mung (/wang-wang)
Norwegian: voff / vov-vov
Polish: hau hau
Portuguese (Portugal): au au au (nasal diphthong)
Portuguese (Brazil): au-au
Russian: gav-gav
Slovene: hov-hov
Spanish (Spain, Argentina): guau guau
Swedish: vov vov
Thai: hoang hoang (with falling tone)
Turkish: hav, hav
Ukrainian: haf-haf
Vietnamese: wau wau

From this fantabulous site, which I absolutely love - they have the more common animals, and some odd ones as well.
posted by iconomy at 9:59 AM on November 1, 2004

see also this fantastic site from a while back. wonderful
posted by gravelshoes at 10:10 AM on November 1, 2004

French cats go "mioux," I think.

Roosters offer a pretty funny sampling.
posted by blueshammer at 10:42 AM on November 1, 2004

Response by poster: I knew I could rely on you guys. :)
posted by twine42 at 10:45 AM on November 1, 2004

That site omits two of my German favorites: 'bau bau' for dog, and 'ko-ko-dee, ko-ko-dah' for rooster. There's even a little children's song about the rooster, "My Rooster's Dead."

But it's a very cool site.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:55 AM on November 1, 2004

Ancient Greek frogs go kikiriki.
posted by kenko at 11:13 AM on November 1, 2004

Roosters in France go "cocorico"
posted by soplerfo at 12:47 PM on November 1, 2004

old blue thread about it (i had the same question)
posted by jeb at 12:57 PM on November 1, 2004

Where do these sounds come from? I can understand that somebody might not think of woof as the sound of a barking dog, but why wang wang for instance?
posted by substrate at 1:16 PM on November 1, 2004

Chile: cats "miau" (roughly the same as English "meow"), roosters go "cocorico" or "cocoroco". Frogs "guarep".
posted by signal at 3:16 PM on November 1, 2004

substrate, the most popular dog in Japan is the Shiba Inu. It's a great dog for the Japanese because it is smaller overall and has a lot of wonderful stereotypically dog-ish qualities. I've never had one so I'll let another person fill us in on the details. My point is that dogs in Japan are smaller overall, and thus their barks are more treble (i.e. "wan, wan") than the the bass notes that larger US dogs hit (retreivers, shepherds, etc.)
posted by gen at 4:04 PM on November 1, 2004

Thanks gen.
posted by substrate at 4:35 PM on November 1, 2004

Now wait just a minute -- that explanation won't hunt. I still don't see how someone would hear a nasal vowel in a dog's bark, regardless of how small the dog is. It's simply not a nasal sound. There's no "n"-ness in it!
posted by kindall at 4:36 PM on November 1, 2004

There's a great Doug Anthony All Stars live bit that includes commentary about the sound French dogs make. Warning, strong langauge.
"And um Tin Tin had lots of friends he had a little dog called snowy, and snowy never used to go "woof woof, woof woof" like normal dogs do. Uhuh he was French so he used to go "uhuh, uhuh" that's weird because dogs don't go uhuh they go woof woof, woof woof."
posted by krisjohn at 5:06 PM on November 1, 2004

Ancient Greek frogs go kikiriki

I think you're thinking of modern Greek (or maybe German) roosters. Ancient Greek frogs go brek-kek-kek-kek koax koax.
posted by languagehat at 5:09 PM on November 1, 2004 [2 favorites]

Beacuse the word that's been transliterated as "wang" is really pronounced closer to "wong", and for approximating a dog's bark it's spoken very short and sharp. I don't think there's any words in Mandarin that actually have that long "a" sound.
posted by casarkos at 5:09 PM on November 1, 2004

DOH. Languagehat has me dead to rights. My brain is scrambled.

And to think I've even read The Frogs recently ... I am ashamed.
posted by kenko at 5:41 PM on November 1, 2004

While this is only tangentially related, I've always found it very interesting that the Japanese have onomatopoeia for things that don't even make sounds. For example, "fusa fusa" is the sound of a head of full, attractive hair (of course) and when you're smiling it sounds like "niko niko." A good selection of animals are listed in the above link as well. ^_^
posted by moift at 8:04 PM on November 1, 2004 [1 favorite]

Are there any sites that list what humans exclaim in different languages? Kind of like "Ow!" in English and "Ay!" in Spanish.
posted by vacapinta at 8:10 PM on November 1, 2004

In Russian, pigs go "hroo hroo." Note that those are rolled Rs and the H is more of a "HK" sound, like when you try to build a loogie. (Don't try and pronounce the K, just flem up the H.)
posted by MrAnonymous at 11:41 PM on November 1, 2004 [3 favorites]

Since I do this with my kid all the time (in Japanese), I translated (some of) the list from iconomy, and omitted the verbs of saying.

Bee: bunbun
Bird: chunchun
Cat: nyaa (or myau)
Chick: piyo piyo
Cow: moo (but rhymes with 'hoe')
Crow: kaa kaa
Dog: wan wan
Pigeon: poppo poppo
Duck: gaa gaa
Elephant pao---n
Fox: kon kon
Frog: kero kero (or gero gero) (e like in 'get')
Horse: ihihiiin
Monkey: kii kii (high pitch)
Mouse: chuuchuu
Pig: buu buu
Chicken: kokekokkoo
Lamb: mee (e like in 'get')
Sparrow: chunchun
posted by bashos_frog at 2:55 AM on November 2, 2004

Canta el gallo
Canta el gallo con el quiri quiri quiri quiri quiri
La gallina
La gallina con el cara cara cara cara cara
Los polluelos
Los polluelos con el pio pio pio pio pi
Y por eso los grandes amores De Colores
De muchos colores
Me Gustan a mi
posted by grateful at 9:26 AM on November 2, 2004

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