After Norwegian comedy singer duo Ylvis ignited the world’s interest in sounds that animals make with “What Does The Fox Say?,” other artists have begun exploring these questions more in-depth. English artist James Chapman has created a series of comics comparing how different languages around the world write down the sounds that some of our favorite animals make.
The panels are a delight to see, with bright colors and cute animals. The comparisons between languages are also interesting, no matter what your native language is. Depending on what language you speak, some of these can seem pretty wacky. As an English speaker, the Dutch horse sounds pretty funny to me (Vrinsk?), but I also admit that, with a lame showing like “oink,” we can use some work on our pig impressions. Mice, cats and bees, however, seem to have inspired international consensus on the sounds they make.
Chapman is a PhD physics student and illustrator from Manchester who runs a great Tumblr featuring more of his illustrations, as well as one just for animal sounds. Check them out to see some more great work!
What other languages do you know that have cool- or weird-sounding animal sounds?