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The sounds that animals make in different languages



Animal sounds are fun to make, and they are among the first sounds that children learn. My baby granddaughter know that the cow says “moo” and the duck said “Qua..”. I wonder whether without ever seeing these animals except in pictures she really knows what they are?

Animals don’t talk the same way in different languages around the world. Actually, they do make the same sounds, but speakers use different words in different languages to replicate the animal sounds. In most languages, cats say “meow”, more or less, but the similarities stop there.  Often the word for the sound depends on their sound systems. So, dogs say “woof”, and “bow wow” only in English.  In French, a dog says “ouah, ouah; the “w” is not used in French words. In Spanish, it’s “guau, guau”, the “g” is hardly heard.

In the book ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, the crickets say “cri, cri, cri”. That’s Spanish for the cricket sound! Is there such a word in English? Not that I know of, although you must know what sound a cricket makes. Many animals don’t have a word for their sound in languages. I hope they don’t feel left out!

For a cute video which explains why the words for sounds are so different in different languages, click here: