When American children are small, they are taught that birds chirp and chickens cluck. Dutch children, however learn that birds go “tjiep” and chickens say “tok tok.” French children know that birds actually “piep,” and chickens say “kot-kot.”
Clearly, animal sounds are not universal. Every language in the world has its own onomatopoeia for describing animal sounds, and the words are widely varied in some cases.
For instance, in the United States, large dogs woof or ruff, but French dogs ouah, Dutch dogs vov-vov and German dogs wau-wau. In Italy, they bau bau, in Japan they say “wan wan,” and in Russia they bark out “gav gav.”
American ducks may quack, but in the Arabic world they couak. Ducks gua in China, kva in Croatia, baak in India, kvakk in Norway and kwa in Poland.
Cows moo in the US, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Poland, Norway, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and the Ukraine, but they boo in Hungary and Denmark.
A rooster crows by saying “cockle doodle doo” in the US and England, but announces the morning with a “kukeleku” in Denmark. In France, they call out “cocorico,” in Italy they say “kickeriki,” and in China they simply say “wo wo wo.”