This list is incomplete…
What does the fox say?
What has always puzzled me is why japanese pigs say “Boo-boo”…
Also, dogs in Spanish do not say “guav”, they say “guau”.
This is a good place to mention a picture book that I often buy as a gift for children who are about 3-5 years old, the Caldecott Honor winning book Hush! A Thai Lullaby.
There are a lot of things I like about the book that make it a great present. For starters, not many people have it already. The book uses Thai animal noises, not American ones. The rhythm of the words mimics the rhythm of Thai speech. The pictures are beautiful. The story is interesting and designed to lull a child to sleep. And of course, there is the fact that while the mom is busy hushing up all these animals to put the baby to sleep, baby is making a little funny appearance on every page as he crawls all over the place - then finally mom conks out and all the animals but “Baby is wide awake.” I think we can all relate!
German cats purring: “srr”. Never heard that before, “schnurr” maybe.
I generally love Japanese and Korean sound-words, they also have many more than German or English.
I like how “Come here (pig)” is represented as “sooie.”
I can see how they came up with that, and it seems about as accurate as any other onomatopoeia.
It also highlights our written language’s complete failure to describe the actual sound.
David Sedaris has a chapter in one of his books about how he breaks the ice when he meets someone not from the anglosphere: he asks them what sound a rooster makes in their culture. A Spaniard, for instance, tells him it’s “co-co-rico!” then looks at him incredulously when Sedaris tells him we say “cock-a-doodle-doo!”
Seems like a good place to leave this:
On a related tangent… We were just talking about ESL (English as a Second Language) critters yesterday at lunch. Dogs/Cats/Horses seem to learn new languages quite well, but respond much-quicker/more-consistently to their native language even after several years of english “lessons”.
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