Onomatopeias question... just out of curiousity! :D

messire lavoisel   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 01:38 GMT
I'm just curious to know the onomatopeias used in different language because I often use them in conversation.

For example, in French we'd say:

"... and I fell -- Paf ! -- on the floor".

While - I think - a native English would say:

"... and I fell -- Bang! -- on the floor".

or something similar.


Yet another exemple:

When a French kid pretend to shoot an enemy he will say: "pan! pan!"

While - I assume - an English speaker kid will say "blam! blam!" as in the comics.


Some more onomatopeias:

A French coq/rooster says "cocorico" !

A dog: "ouaf! ouaf"! (pronounced "waf! waf!")

A cat: "miaaaou" (close to the English "miew", eh?)

A bird: "cui cui"

A punch in the face: "Paf!"

An explosion: "boum!"

A clock: "tic-tac-tic-tac-tic..."

A ringing clock (or 80's phone): "driiiing"

A klaxon: "bip biiip!"

A 20's klaxon: "honk! honk!"




So, people from everywhere, what are YOUR onomatopeias?
Pentatonic   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 02:39 GMT
I (from southeast USA) would say:
Fell on the floor -- bang or bam or boom or even plop
Pretending to shoot -- bang, bang
Rooster says -- cock-a-doodle-doo
Dog says -- ruff, ruff or woof, woof
Cat says -- meow
Bird says -- tweet, tweet
Cow says -- moo
Pig says -- oink, oink
Sheep says -- bah
An explosion -- boom
Clock -- tick tock
A klaxon? Is that like a Klingon? :)
My guess is horn and it goes beep, beep or honk, honk.
Something hurts and I say -- ouch!
Californian   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 03:27 GMT
I (from San Francisco, California) would say:
Fell on the floor -- BAM!
Pretending to shoot -- bam-bam-bam
Rooster says -- cock-a-doodle-doo
Dog says -- woof
Cat says -- meow
Bird says -- tweet, tweet
Cow says -- moo
Pig says -- oink, oink
Sheep says -- baaaaaaaah
An explosion -- BOOM
Clock -- tick tock
Klaxon? Beep beep honk honk
My guess is horn and it goes beep, beep or honk, honk.
Something hurts and I say -- ouch! Or sometimes "Oshe" which is a contraction of "Oh shit," but I stop myself before saying the entire swear word.
Ricardo   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 16:06 GMT
Common ones in Brazil (English pronunciation in quotes) :

rooster - cocorico - "cawcawreecaw"
dog - au au - "ow ow"
cat - miau - "meow"
bird - piu piu - "pew pew"
cow - múú - "moo"
pig - coin coin - "coin coin"
sheep - mééé - no exact vowel sound in English, similar to "lait" in French
goat - bééé - same case
explosion - bum - "boom"
clock - tic tac , sometimes written tique-taque - "tick tuck"
klaxon - bi bi - "bee bee"
classy klaxon(oldies) - fon fon - "fawn fawn"
post-hurt - Ai ! - "eye"
ringing clock or phone(oldie) - trriimm - "trreeemm"
Simon   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 16:30 GMT
My favorite in French is "tilt"

Does Pif-Gadget still exist?
messire lavoisel   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 16:40 GMT
France, again.

sheep: mèèèèh (close to Brazilian Portuguese)
cow: meuuuuuuh
goat: bèèèèè (once again close to Portuguese)
hurt: Aïïïïïïe (eye, like in Portuguese), aouh (aoo), ouch (oosh)
Child hurt by another child: Aïïïïï-euuuh! (ayuh) --- The "euh" part is more to express his anger toward the other kid).
Car: Vroum vroum
Various impacts: Paf! Pim! Pang! Poum!
Violent kick: chhhBAAA!! or ChhhPAAA!! (shhhBAA! shhhPAA!!)
Wolf: aouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (aooooooooooooooooooo)
Lion, Tigre, and other growling creatures: grrr!!!, groar!!!
When you want to mark each step of a complex move (dance, karaté, ...): hop... hop... and hop!, tac... tac... and tac! (you will say "hop" or "tac" each time a step is complete).

By the way, I thought "klaxon" was an English word but I checked my dictionary and saw you actually use "horn". Sorry.
messire lavoisel   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 16:44 GMT
Pif-gadget... I have never heard that one.
Pif was the hero of a comics ten years ago.
Ricardo   Thursday, October 30, 2003, 22:25 GMT
Well, Messire, now you induced me into a mistake, I allways have wrote and said "horn" , and then I used "klaxon" under your influence , I thought it was "trés chic" !! Just kidding....

Vroum,vroum for cars is very good, kids say the same here in Brazil (vrum).
messire lavoisel   Thursday, October 30, 2003, 22:52 GMT
Oh! I'm sorry for having this bad influence on you!

By the way, this make me think that I use "aïe" (French onomatopeia used when something hurts) also when I feel sorry for someone else. Does anything similar exist in other languages? Does the English speakers say "ouch" and the Portuguese speakers "ai" in this case?

French and Portuguese seem to share many onomatopeias in common. I wonder why?
But now, I know how to make myself understood if I have to speak to Portuguese speaking people who don't speak English ;)
The conversation wouldn't go very far and would be a bit weird, but at least it would be very funny! :-D
Jim   Friday, October 31, 2003, 00:25 GMT
In Australia ... or Sydney at least:

Falling on the floor:
"bang" (if you hit the floor hard)
"plop" (if you fall like a lump of fat)
"splat" (if the impact is enough to leave your body in pieces)

Pretending to shoot an enemy:
"bang bang"

"ow" or "ouch"

A rooster:

A dog:
"woof woof" (pronounced "waf! waf!")

A cat:

A cow:

A pig says:
A sheep or goat:
"bah" or "mah"

A bird ... well, that depends on what kind but the unspecified one would be:
"tweet tweet" or "cheep cheep"

A punch in the face:

An explosion:
"bang" or "boom"

A clock: "tick-tock-tick-tock-tick..."

A ringing clock (or 80's phone):
"ring ring"

A car:
"broom" (the "oo" sounds like the one in "book") or
"vroom" (rhymes with "room")

A car horn:
"beep beep"

A 20's car horn:
"honk honk"
Pif   Friday, October 31, 2003, 08:24 GMT
Oui avec mon pote Hercule.
A.S.C.M.   Friday, October 31, 2003, 08:57 GMT
What I would say, with my crazy mix of onomatopoeia from many different languages and my own inventions...

Falling on the floor: Paf (resounding), dong (dull sound)
Shooting: Bahng, bahng (with the /a:/ vowel)
Hurt: Aïe
Dog: Wong, wong
Cat: Miao
Cow: Moo
Pig: kho, kho ("kh"= guttural sound)
Bird: Jiw, jiw
Sheep: méhéhéhé
Slap: Paf
Explosion: Bahng (with the /a:/ vowel)
Car: Vrrroom (trilled "r")
Car horn: Bah bah

I'm odd, am I not?
Sara   Friday, October 31, 2003, 10:30 GMT
Here are a few Japanese ones. (There are LOADS actually, the full list would take hundreds of pages)

silence : shiiiiiiiin
someone running : ta ta ta ta ta ta
something rolling on the floor : goro goro
a kiss : chuuu
big explosion : batan

cat : nyaaa nyaaa
dog : wan wan
little bird : piyooo piyooo
horse : hi hiiin
cock : kokekokkoo
goat : mèèè mèèè (seems to be very widespread this one)
big monster : gaooooo

And now, why not to give the most common name for a dog :

French : Médor
Italian : Fido
Japanese : Pochi
Simon   Friday, October 31, 2003, 10:43 GMT

UK: Rover (for a dog)

That's traditional - I have never met anything called Rover that wasn't made of metal and had 4 wheels.
Sara   Friday, October 31, 2003, 11:22 GMT
Yeah, of course those names are rather used in comics and stuffs. :)