I wrote about this in my “Going Native” book quite a while ago, and got some mileage out of it in some comic speeches, but was reminded again the other day about the strange phenomenon of animal noises in other languages.
To start with, did you know that Spanish cockerels do not say “Cock-a-doodle-doo’? Indeed they don’t, they say “qui-quiri-qui”. Well, of course.
No dog in Spain is expected to get his chops round “woof woof”, instead he can get away with a whole-hearted “guau guau”.
As for ducks, they say “cua cua” and are not obliged to attempt that final “ck” which must be so difficult for a duck.
My favourite of all is the Spanish for “tweet tweet” which is “pio pio”. I think that’s lovely. Tweety Pie is called Piolín, but come to think of it, how does Piolín say “I tought I taw a Puddytat”? More research required.