Around the world, different languages have their own onomatopoeic interpretations of animal sounds. Many, like the one that a snake makes ("sss") stay pretty constant from language to language. But others vary widely: in Urdu, cows say "baeh" instead of "moo," and Japan is the only place where bees go "boon boon" with nary an "s" or a "z" in sight. Animal sounds can also depend on how important that animal is to a country. For example, English-speakers have many more words for the noise that a dog makes than other places where owning pet dogs isn't as common.
Key Facts In This Video
Japanese words never begin with a "kw" sound, so ducks cannot say "quack." 01:01
Hear how French-speakers imitate a pig: 01:34
In Italy, "gnam gnam" is the equivalent of "yum yum." 02:40
Written by Curiosity Staff April 15, 2016
Wake up with the smartest email in your inbox.
Our Best Articles Daily