Animal Noises in Different Languages


Animal noises belong in the category of Onomatopoeia, which are words that phonetically imitate the original sounds. From a linguistic point of view, the variability of interpretation from language to language is unsurprising, but the frequent diversity of these linguistic contrivances, at times far from even marginally reminding the listener of the actual sound, can be amusing to many people. The same hen does “kokodák” in Czech, “git-git-giddak” in Turkish, and “petok-petok” in Indonesian. And in English hens, never do anything apart from clucking. It is the man who speaks: “Cock-a-doodle-doo”. Next time you are asked by a child which animal does which sound, make sure you know the answer in the right language.

Photos: Shutterstock / collage: Martina Advaney

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