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:
French: cui cui
Greek: tsiou tsiou
Japanese: mau mau
Dutch: kwak kwak
Italian: cra cra
Japanese: kero kero
English: oink oink
French: groin groin
Japanese: boo boo
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.