Animal Sounds Around the World

One of the first songs that a toddler learns is Old MacDonald Had a Farm. He learns that a cow says “moo-moo” and a chicken says “cluck-cluck.” In the United States, dogs say “woof”, frogs say “ribbit,” and ducks say “quack.” Pigs “oink,” mice “squeak,” and birds “chirp” or “tweet.” Throughout the world, while the animals sound the same, the people describe the noises they make with different words.

In Spanish-speaking countries, cows make a “muu” sound, which is similar to the English “moo,” and ducks say “cuac cuac,” just like their English-speaking cousins. Spanish horses, however, say “jiiiiiii” instead of “neigh,” and frogs say “crua crua” or “berp” instead of “ribbit.”

French animal sounds are also expressed differently. Ducks say “coin coin,” dogs say “ouah ouah,” and turkeys don’t gobble, but say “glouglou glouglou.” Their Italian neighbors express dog sounds as “bau bau.” Italian wolves say “ululano,” and frogs say “cra cra,” and mice say “squitt squitt.” In Germany, roosters don’t cock-a-doodle-doo, but they do “kekeriki.” Dogs “wau wau,” cows “muh,” and pigs say “grunz grunz.”

In Africa, elephants “trompetter,” goats say “me me,” and monkeys “kwetter.” Listen to recordings of other African animals to hear their actual sounds.

Birds in other countries make various sounds, such as “pip pip” in Danish, “pii pii” in Japanese, and “juyk juyk” in Turkish. Listen to various bird recordings from North America and around the world, and hear how people might interpret the sounds in their own languages.

Here are more excellent resources for learning more about animal sounds and how they are expressed in other languages:

  • Naturesongs: Listen to recordings of mammals, amphibians, insects, and other sounds from the United States and parts of South America
  • African Trophy: Hear more recordings of African animals.
  • Animal Sounds in Foreign Languages: A comprehensive list of animals and the sounds that they make in various languages.
  • Sense List: A different list of animal sounds throughout the world.
  • Derek Abbott’s Animal Sounds: A chart containing many countries and animals.
  • Quack Project: Contains recordings of children in different countries making the appropriate animal sounds for their language.

No matter where you travel, you will recognize the animal sounds around you. Familiarizing yourself with the human interpretations of these sounds in every language will ensure that you recognize people imitating animal sounds as well.