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"I never saw a Purple Cow, I never hope to see one. But I can tell you, anyhow, I'd rather see than be one."
(Gelett Burgess, 1895)
Don't Have a Cow
Language Barrier. Discussing international standards in a multi-lingual environment, in desperate search for commonalities once in a while the topic animal sounds comes up. Animals also speak different languages, just like people do. It occurred to me during my first US visit, when I woke up at the cry of a rooster on a nearby farm crowing "cock-a-doodle-doo." I was puzzled by how different it sounded, being used to the German rooster cry "kikeriki." Ever since I have wondered, whether animals from different regions actually understand each other. If you don't feel like doing too much "moovement" after another "ruff" day, just lean back and enjoy below tongue-in-cheek summary on international communication.
Chicken Jargon. Pursuing the subject further, the Japanese rooster dialect "kokekokkoo" appeared to be quite similar. Once more, the Spanish "Ki-ki-ri-ki" is quite close, while the Italian "chicchirichì" reminds me of a rooster with a cold. The Serbian "kikiriki" is a word for "peanuts" though and the rooster says "kukurigu" there. The Chinese rooster "Gong Zi" does the sound of a long astonished "o-o-o." And chicken gaggle "gugugu" in China after delivering an egg, similar to the German "gock-gock-gock," the English "cluck-cluck" and the Czech "kokodak." Turkish roosters seem to have a higher voice as they sound like "u-u-ru-uuu" (there spelled with dots on top of the u).
Doggy Dialect. "Who let the dogs out, who, who" our kids would sing all day after watching the "Man in Black"-movie. Somehow the "who" almost sounds like barking. In German "wau" is the usual barking sound, in English "wow" seems to be a human expression of amazement. Apparently, dogs had to side-step to a different English woof sound like "ruff" when they are angry or "bow-wow" when they are in a good mood, as used in baby literature. In Japan dogs bark "won won," but kids say "one one." Turkish and Czech dogs appear to be in a good mood all the time for laughing "hav-hav" and "haf-haf." Once again Spanish ("guau-guau"), Italian ("bau bau) and Hungarian ("vau-vau") seem to be close. "Ham ham" is not only German baby language for food to eat, it is also the barking noise of a usually hungry "caine (dog)" in Romania. In Korea tasty dogs bark "mung-mung." The Chinese animal name "Gou (dog)" almost sounds like the noise it makes, which is usually "wou" but can vary depending on its size. And "dog" is called "ci" in Welsh.
Cow Moomble. "Don't have a cow" is an English phrase for "Don't get excited!" It is said to refer to the noise a cow makes during calving. With our first kid, when communication was still very basic, we developed a method to check, if he was fully alert. As over-concerned parents, whenever he hit his head somewhere, we'd ask: "What does a cow say?" At this point let me remember a fridge magnet, which was most likely produced by a Beatles-fan: "Something in the way she moos." Cows seem to be pretty international standard, with "moo" in English, Japanese, Chinese and Turkish. Very close is the "muu(h)" in German, Spanish, Italian and many other languages. I just wonder, why it is "bu" in Hungarian, but maybe they are trying to scare the butchers away. Holy cow! Below is a selection of animal sounds in different languages.
Cows in the American neighbourhood.
Dog fight with a water hose.
Of Munging Dogs and (Deep) Purple Cows
Zodiac Signs. Munging" is a term nowadays used in connection with data manipulation or adding a spamblock to email addresses. In connection with password creation it is related to the acronym for "munge" - Modify Until Not Guessed Easily. "Mung-Mung!" is also the name of a children's book, a multilingual lift-the-flap guessing game around the question: "What kind of animal says..." Being named after the Korean dog sound, among others, it teaches you that the Norwegian pig says "nuff-nuff" (as in Nuff said), which is locally spelled "noff-noff (with that slash through the letter o)," but that is a different story… Its accompanying volume is called "Yum! Yuck!" for dealing with people sounds, which can be quite funny as well. In the Chinese Zodiac, the sign of the Rooster follows the Monkey. People born in the Year of the Rooster are said to be very observant, accurate and precise, although they don't necessarily get up every morning at crack of dawn. Those born in the Sign of the Dog share qualities such as loyalty, honor and justice.
Distinctive Marketing. "Cave canes" is Latin for "Beware of the Dog," a door sign of particular attention to mailmen. "The Big Dog (in Latin: canis major)" is a star constellation near Orion. Its brightest star Sirius is also known as the Dog Star and lends its name to the hottest period of summer. During those "Dog Days (in German: Hundstage)" people walk around with tongues hanging out of their mouth, just as dogs do. One hot day a colleague, who had just returned from a marketing seminar, explained to me: "What if you were sitting in a train and looking out of the window you would watch all these cows, usually with brown and black spots. And suddenly you would see a (deep) purple cow! Wouldn't that catch your attention? In the same way, products have to stick out among the vast variety of choices." "Purple Cow" has become a synonym for a marketing strategy to make a business stand out among its competition. Literally, the same approach had been followed by a German milk chocolate producer for decades, with its well-established logo containing the lilac coloured Milka-cow. It all began with the children's poem "The Purple Cow," which was originally published with the caption "Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who's Quite Remarkable, at Least".
Chinese Chicken Fingers.
Fan of Foreign Language Baby Books.
Rooster: English: cock-a-doodle-doo; German: kikeriki; Spanish: Ki-ki-ri-ki; Turkish: ü-ü-rü-üüü; Serbian: kukurigu; Japanese: ko-ke-ko-ko; Italian: chicchirichì; French: cocorico; Korean: cokiyo; Chinese: o-o-o; Russian: koo-kah-reh-koo; Polish: kukuryku; Czech: kikiriki; Slovenian: kikiriki; Greek: kukuríku
Dog: English: bow-wow; German: wau-wau; Spanish: guau-guau; Turkish: hav-hav; Japanese: won won; Chinese: wou-wou; Italian: bau bau; Korean: mung-mung; French: ouaf-ouaf; Russian: gav gav; Polish: hau hau; Greek: gav gav; Romanian: ham ham; Czech: haf-haf; Hungarian: vau-vau
Cow: English: moo; German: muh; Spanish: muuu; Turkish: möööö; Japanese: moo; Chinese: mou; Korean: um-mae; Italian: muu; Slovenian: mu; Polish: muuuuu; Czech: mu; French: meuh; Romanian: muu; Hungarian: bu; Greek: moo
Fans of the Purple Cow-Milk Chocolate.