Dogs, in a way, are "multilingual"; humans who speak different languages have come up with different ways to represent the sounds dogs make. So if you talk about how dogs say "woof" in a non-English-speaking country, you'll probably be *dogged* by confused looks.
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How dogs bark in South Asia and the Middle East
In Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, where Arabic is spoken, dogs say haw haw or hab hab. In Persian, also known as Farsi, which is spoken in Middle Eastern nations like Iran, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, you’ll hear vaagh vaagh. In Hindi, the official language of India, dog-speak is bho bho or the classic bow wow. And the Tamil people, who live primarily in India and Sri Lanka, have three different terms to describe what a dog says: voww-voww, loll-loll, and vazh vazh. No matter what language dogs bark in, they sure are adorable—check out these adorable pictures of the cutest dog breeds as puppies.
How dogs bark in East Asia and Southeast Asia
In Mandarin Chinese, the most widely spoken language in the entire world, dogs say wāng wāng (pronounced more like “wong wong”), and in China’s other major language, Cantonese, they say wōu-wōu. Across the Yellow Sea, Korean speakers say meong meong, which to English speakers sounds more like something a cat would say!
In Japan, dogs bark by saying wan wan (which rhymes with “on,” not “pan”). Farther south, in Vietnam, a dog will let out a gâu gâu or a sủa sủa. But if you say either of those in Indonesia, you’ll be barking up the wrong tree, because in Indonesian, dogs say guk guk!
Once you’ve wrapped your head around these vastly different versions of what dogs say, see if you can keep straight these funny, adorable pet-related slang wotasiilaq.nets (all in English this time).
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Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for tasiilaq.net who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.