Meow! Miau! Nyan!

I happen to be obsessed with a little Japanese kitty who has a Pop Tart for a body and leaves a rainbow trail every time he moves. His name is Nyan, and he stars in a simple but deceivingly addictive video game of the same name. At first I thought the kitty’s name was Nyan just because . . . well, it was. But it turns out that nyan is the sound cats make in Japan.

In English, we’re used to our moos and oinks and woofs and meows, but animals don’t make the same sounds in other countries. Or, rather, the people speaking the languages don’t interpret the sounds the same way.

Take our Nyan cat, for example. In Japan, he says nyan. In the United States, he says meow. In Germany, it’s miau; and, in France, it’s miaou.

Here are other examples of what animals say across the globe:

Bird
English: tweet
French: cui cui
Greek: tsiou tsiou
Portuguese: pio
Swedish: pip-pip

Cow
English: moo
Finnish: ammuu
French: meuh
Japanese: mau mau
Spanish: meee

Dog
English: woof
French: ouah
German: wau
Greek: gav
Japanese: wan

Rooster
English: cock-a-doodle-do
French: cocorico
Hebrew: coo-koo-ri-koo
Japanese: ko-ke-kok-ko-o
Portuguese: cucurucu

Frog
English: ribbit
Dutch: kwak kwak
Finnish: kvaak
Italian: cra cra
Japanese: kero kero

pig
English: oink oink
French: groin groin
German: grunz
Japanese: boo boo
Russian: hrgu-hrgu

Want to learn more?
Here’s the page where I found all of these lovely words. Want to know the noise a donkey, moose, or crocodile makes? Check it out.

Here’s a link to a great ESL page where you can hear sound clips of native speakers saying the animal sounds.

3 thoughts on “Meow! Miau! Nyan!

  1. Rooster has to be the most messed up one of all! It’s amazing how their cries are interpreted in different countries. In Italy, I think it’s something like: “Kik-a-ri-kee!”

    Fascinating post. 🙂

    Like

  2. I’m romanian, and our animal “sounds” are pretty different from most of these, and i find them quite funny. So here’s a few:

    Bird:
    Cip-Cirip
    Piu Piu

    Cow:
    Muu

    Dog:
    Ham ham

    Rooster:
    Cu-curigu

    Frog:
    Uoac-uoac

    Pig:
    Guit-guit
    Scrof-scrof (Usually for female pig i think? “scroafa” means female pig in romanian, and i guess the sound “scrof” comes from that)

    Mouse:
    Chit chit

    Duck:
    Mac mac

    Goose:
    Ga-ga (everytime i hear it, it reminds me of lady Gaga lol)

    Hope you find it a bit amusing too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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