Animals speak different languages

Onomatopeia is a fancy way to describe words that sound like what they mean. For instance, in English, bees "buzz" and cats "meow". Words for animal sounds are almost always built on how the animals actually sound to listeners. But that can be different in different languages. Since each language has its own set of sounds to work with, they hear animals based on those sounds.

For example, a rooster's crow is translated as:

  • "Cockadoodle doo!" in English;
  • "Kikiriki!" in Spanish; and
  • "Kok-e-kok-ko!" in Japanese.

This video shows people from all over the world saying animal sounds in their language. How would you write the sounds the animals make in your language?

onomatopoeia /on-uh-mat-uh-PEE-uh/ [noun, uncountable]—words made up of sounds that are similar to the sounds the words refer to.


How well do you think the different languages in the video imitate animal sounds? Are there any that don't make sense to you ("It doesn't sound like that at all!")? Do Homework
Explain why different languages interpret animal sounds in different ways. Do Homework
How does learning onomatopoeia in the language you're studying help you improve your pronunciation? Do Homework
Choose 3 other animals and discuss (or write for homework) the sounds they make in your language. Do Homework