New Research Shows What Dogs and Cats Sound Like in Different Languages

What word do you use to describe an animal's sound?

If someone asked you, 'what sound does a dog make?' we're willing to bet that we know what you would answer: 'woof!' That word is commonly used to describe dog barks and sounds across North America--but if you visit another part of the world you're bound to hear something different.

That's what inspired the language experts at Word Tips to find out what dogs and cats sound like across the globe. While the animals' actual sounds don't differ from country to country, of course, the way people describe their sounds sure does!



Let's start with our canine companions... and a little context. The pros at Word Tips explained that they began their research by determining the most commonly spoken language in each of the  147 countries they researched.

Then, according to the website, they studied "reliable articles and dictionary entries to find out how the sounds dogs and cats make are pronounced in each language." And those are the words you see written on the map infographic above!

Thankfully, Word Tips also included a table of the most commonly used sounds so we don't have to count them ourselves. Did you know there are over 40 different interpretations of the sound a dog can make? The most widely used is 'hau hau' or 'how how," (frequently found in Arabic-speaking nations) while 'guau guau' comes in second place (that's from the Spanish language). 'Woof woof,' from English-speaking countries, takes the bronze!

<p>Word Tips</p>

Word Tips

As for the felines, it's easy to see a theme. The Word Tips experts also noticed that the vast majority of nations studied use a word that starts with 'm' to describe cat sounds. 'Miau' or even 'miauw' was found in 38 different countries!

English speakers will be happy to know that 'meow' is the second-most popular word for cat noises. But here's the interesting part! The third place word is 'muwaa'' which is used in some African nations. Now if that's not a fun fact, we don't know what is.

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