Ouaf! Ouaf! What Animals Say Around the World


When you walk down the streets of Paris, the Poodle prancing in the promenade doesn’t say “Woof! Woof!” She barks, “Oauf! Ouaf!”

It's the same idea with the rooster waking everyone up in Madrid — his "cock-a-doodle-doo!" is "¡quiquiriquí!"

A recent article from Care2.com, "What Does a Cat Say In Japanese? In French? In Greek?" got us thinking: The words we use to describe what animals say are usually onomatopoeic, but not every language interprets these sounds the same way. Take pigs for example, they make vastly different noises around the world. In English, pigs oink, but in Japanese, they say, "Būbū."  

So, if you’re planning any international trips, or even if you're just a lover of languages, we've got a handy guide to what our furry and feathered friends are saying across the world. We’ve employed Google Translator and, of course, a few online language dictionaries to help determine the sounds.

And yes, we highly encourage you to practice saying these sounds out loud at the top of your lungs.


English: Woof

Chinese: Wāng (wang)

French: Ouaf (woof)

Korean: meong (mung)

Spanish: Guau (wou)


English: Quack

Chinese: Gāgā (koo koo)

French: Coin-Coin (kwe-kwe)

Italian: Qua Qua (kwa-kwa)

Spanish: Cuac Cuac (kwak kwak)


English: Oink

Danish: Øf (oof)

Japanese: Būbū (boo boo)

Russian: Khryu (heh-roo)

Swedish: Nöff Nöff (nuhf nuhf)


English: Meow

French: Miaou (myou)

Japanese: Nyā (nyaa)

Korean: Yaong (yawng)

Spanish: Miau (mee-ou)


English: Cock-a-doodle-doo

French: Cocorico (koh-koh-ree-ko)

Italian: Chicchirichì (kee-keeree-kee)

Japanese: Kokekokkō (ko-kay-ke-koh)

Spanish: Quiquiriquí (kee-keery-kee)


English: Baa

German: Mäh (meh)

Japanese: Mē (may)

Korean: Maemae (maymay)

Swedish: Bä (bah)

Do you speak any of these languages and think animals say sounds differently in your language? Let us know what we got right (and wrong) in the comments.


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