I have no idea why I had originally sought out to find this, but I’m absolutely fascinated.
The first time I realized that animals made different noises depending on which language you speak was during one of my various trips to the Philippines. It must have been when I was younger, because I remember complaining about the rooster who woke me every morning at 5am (I used to prefer sleeping in back then). I was explaining about the rooster to someone who worked for the house, but she spoke little English and didn’t understand what I was referring to. So then I said, “You know… cock-a-doodle-doo.” I expected her to understand immediately, but I only received a confused stare & something in her eyes definitely expressed that she thought I had gone completely bonkers.
At that time, someone walked in—an uncle, an aunt, a cousin… someone who understood me—laughing hysterically. They turned & said to me, “Nikki, I think you mean tiktilaok.” Now it was my turn to look at someone as if they were loony.
Then it dawned on me, if a rooster isn’t called the same thing in Filipino as it is English, why would the noise it makes sound the same either?
So what do other languages make of this squawking, vociferous, angry-looking creature? Here’s what I’ve found so far:
Finnish: kukko kiekuu
I have to say, the Philippines definitely has every language beat.