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Don’t ask me why, today, while talking to an American friend, I suddenly sneezed and then thought: “I wonder how people sound like when they sneeze in English”. In French, we say “atchoum”… Of course, once this big issue raised, I had to investigate. Well, I found a few things, among which is this table about animal language… This is what we can actually read in comics according to our own language.

Animal Sound

English French German Spanish
Bee droning buzz/bzzz bzzz summ summ bzzz
Bird (small) cheep/chirp/chirrup/peep   piep piep  
Bird (medium) cheep cheep/tweet cui cui tschiwitt pío pío
Bird (big) squawk      
Bird (many birds) warble/twitter      
Camel nuzzing grumph      
Cat mewing meow miaou miau miao
Cat purring purr ronron srr rrr
Chaffinch pink      
Chicken (hen) clucking cluck cluck cotcotcodet tock tock caca-racá/cocorocó/
Rooster (cock) crowing cock-a-doodle-doo cocorico kikeriki quiquiriquí/kikiriki
Chick (baby chicken) cheep/peep piou piou piep piep pi-pi
Cow lowing moo meuh mmuuh muuu/meee
Cow/Bull (angry) snorting snort     buff
Crane clang      
Crocodile (biting) snap clap klap clap/clack
Crow cawing kaak/caw croa croa kräh kräh ah ah
Cuckoo cuckoo coucou kuckuck cu-cu
Deer troat      
Donkey braying hee haw/eeyore hihan iaah iaah iha iha/ji-jo
Dog barking (small dog) yap yap/arf arf ouah ouah (in a high voice) wau wau
(in a high voice)
Dog barking (medium dog) woof woof/ruff ruff ouah ouah wau wau guav
Dog barking (big dog) bow wow ouah ouah (in a low voice) wuff wuff guf guf
Dog (biting) gnash/snap     chac
Dog (gnawing bone) chomp/chump/gnaw   chrong  
Dog (angry) grrr/snarl/growl grrr grrr grrr
Dog (crying) whine/whimper   juhhh  
Dog (panting) pant pant   cha-cha eh eh eh
Dog (distressed) yelp/yip/howl/yowl   juhhh auu
Dog (drinking) lap lap   schlapp schlapp blap blap
Dove crooding coo rou rou guru guru gu gu/cucurrucu
Duck gabbing quack quack coin coin quack quack cua cua
Elephant trumpeting baraag   toerroe biaaah
Frog croak/ribbit (USA) croa croa quaak quaak croac croac
Goat bleating naa bêê maehh maehh beee
Goose cackling honk   gak gak  
Horse neighing neigh      
Horse shuddering brrr   brrr  
Horse whinnying wehee hiiiii wihiie ihiii
Horse (hoof sound) clip clop clip clop klip klap cotocloc
Lion roaring raa/grr/roar raoh grr grr
Mouse squeeking eek   piep piep iiik
Owl hooting twit twoo/hoo hoo/whit woo/terwit terwoo hou hou uhu/huuh huuh uhh uhh
Ox lowing boo/booh meuh    
Parrot pretty Polly/Who’s a pretty boy? coco Lora Lora lorito lorito
Pig grunting oink groin groin grunz oink/oinc
Pig squealing wee wee   quiek iiih/uiii/cuiii
Pigeon cooing coo rou rou guru guru ruú-ruú/cucurrocu
Raven croaking caw croâ croâ kra-kra  
Sheep bleating baa bêê baehh baehh beee beee
Snake hissing sss sss sss sss
Tiger roaring raa/grr grr grr grrr
Turkey (male cock) gobble gobble glou glou   clou clou/goro-goro-goro (Mexico)
Turkey (female hen) yelp      
Wolf howling owooooo ooouh huh auuuh
Woodcock peent      

Here are a few links that might help you if you are interested in the subject:

-Small dictionnary of comic onomatopoeia (for French people)


-Onomatopoeia in wikipedia



3 thoughts on “ONOMATOPOEIA

  1. Lol ! Je cherchais désespérément le sens de l’onomatopée Eek dans : “Eek ! The goth look is back (The Sunday Times …) pour mes élèves, à savoir si c’était péjoratif ou pas, et me voilà avec un cri de souris non répertorié dans la colonne : French … bon à priori : the author dislikes the gothic look …

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