Sure, your dog knows how to bark in his native tongue — here in the U.S. that would be “Woof woof” or (for more formal situations) “Bow wow.” But what happens if you travel to another country? Will your dog be able to communicate with the local pups?

I thought about this the other day when I asked Leo (better known as Kenzo, the Hovawart) what dogs in Denmark say. He answered, “Wuf, wuf.” I suppose, depending on your particular dog’s accent, an English-speaking dog could make himself understood. But what about other countries?

I thought it might be helpful to provide this short list of local lingo, derived primarily from two sources, a chart of Animal Sounds created by a student at The University of Adelaide’s School of Electronic and Engineering (they don’t keep you busy enough there, Derek?) and Word Reference.com’s Language Forum, where the posters are serious sticklers for details. One of them has the signature tag: “Every time you don’t correct my mistakes, God kills a kitten!”

Feel free to add any others you’re personally acquainted with — or correct the ones I have listed, even though I don’t believe in a kitty-destroying deity.

Arabic:* Aw aw

Chinese: Wang1 Wang1

Czech: Haf, haf

Esperanto: “Ε­a! Ε­a!” or “boj! boj!”

Finnish Hau hau and vuv vuv

French: ouah, ouah

German: Wau wau

Greek: Gav Gav

Hebrew*: Haw haw

Hungarian: Vau vau

Japanese: Wan Wan or Kian kian

Korean: Meong Meong

Lithuanian: Au, au

Spanish: Guau, guau

Turkish: Hav, hav

*Based on this, there should be no reason for Israeli and Arabic-speaking dogs not to be able to communicate.

18 thoughts on “Pet Travel Thursday: Barking Abroad”

  1. what’s with all dis “woof woof” stuff? i would just go up to dem and say “hi, how’s it going?” if they don’t understand me den i would just sniff der butt. that’s like a universal dog language πŸ˜‰

    Dexter

  2. Israeli and Arabic “woofers” absolutely know how to bark to each other, we have ample proof of that. As expected they have not discovered to express the same, just with a different sound. Dog lingo in the lead for middle-east peace, how about that!

    I worry about our Koreans friends though, wouldn’t “meong meong” be mistaken for a cat? Or maybe they are just smart dogs, changing their tongue to prevent ending up as dinner!

    1. I like your thinking about doggie stealth tactics in Korea; we should never underestimate the cleverness — not to mention the political savvy — of dogs.

  3. Now That’s something that I did not know! I don’t know about other dogs, but Jersey prefers “arf arf” πŸ˜€ Along the line of international animal sounds, in German literature, the rooster says “kikeriki”

    1. So true — and especially that “ch” sound that’s impossible to pronounce without sounding like you need to clear your sinuses.

  4. What a fun list! My dog is decidedly English. Her bark is definitely a woof. No wonder she has difficulty getting along with the dog next door. Must be his French-Canadian roots.

  5. When I was in Israel they told me dogs say “Huf huf.” But maybe the question isn’t “What are they saying?” but “Is anyone listening?”

  6. LOL! What a great topic. I laughed when I read Kenzo’s/Leo’s comment – Who knew? I can’t believe it never occurred to me before. Thanks for a fun read Edie!

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