Dos and Don'ts: Czech Animal Sounds

What will you hear at the farm, in the forest, or at the zoo in the ČR?

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PUBLISHED 14.03.2011
LAST UPDATED 30.04.2011



Dos and Don'ts: Czech Animal Sounds



If you have Czech-speaking children, or Czech friends with children, you will have probably heard some of the local variations of animal noises. Sometimes, the English and Czech equivalents are close to one another. Others couldn't be more different and leave you wondering if the person making the noise have the same animal in mind.

Strange as it may sound, people can be quite defensive about their language's animal onomatopoeia. Just as we can be sure that cats meow and dogs go woof (or bow-wow), most Czech people will be certain of the accuracy of their animal sounds. Every time it has come up in conversation - and it comes up more often than you'd think - either side of the language divide will swear by the truthfulness of their bark, mew or whatever. Of course, most of this is harmless fun, and you are unlikely to upset anyone with the English version, except maybe a Czech three-year-old who has proudly mastered these noises.


Learning the animal noises can have other benefits apart from improving friendly conversation. The sounds are a good way of practicing vowels, especially distinguishing between the long and short forms plus the diphthong 'au'.


Lastly, and maybe most of all, it's a lot of fun. So whatever your reasons, here are some Czech animal sounds:

Animal Czech Name Eng. Animal Noise
Czech Equivalent
Bear     
medvěd     
grrrr    
brum
Bee/fly/mosquito   Včela/moucha/komár
buzz/zzzz
bzzz
Bird    
pták    
tweet-tweet
píp píp
Cat    
kočka    
meow-meow
mňau mňau
Chick     
kuřátko    
cheep-cheep
píp píp
Cow    
kráva    
moo    

Crow    
vrána    
caw    
krá krá 
Dog    
pes    
woof woof / bow-wow
haf haf
Donkey    
osel    
hee-haw
iá iá
Duck    
kachna    
quack    
káč káč
Frog    
žába    
ribbit-ribbit 
kvák kvák
Goat    
koza    
baah / maah
mé mé 
Goose    
husa    
honk    
ga ga ga 
Hen    
slepice    
bock-bock
kokodák 
Horse    
kůň    
neigh    
ihaha 
Lion/Tiger   lev/tygr
roar    

Mouse    
myš    
squeak    
kvík
Owl    
sova    
hoo / tu-woo

Pig    
prase    
oink-oink
chroch-chroch
Rooster   
kohout 
cock-a-doodle-doo
kykyryký
Sheep
ovce    
baah    
bé bé
Snake    
had    
hiss    
ssssss


If you want to hear these sounds, there is a song by Jaroslav Uhlíř and the famous actor and director, Zdeněk Svěrák, called “Krávy, krávy”. It covers some of the essential animal noises.

There is also a Czech version of “Old MacDonald”. (The Czech version is at the bottom of the link.)

If we've left something off, please let us know!


User comments


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Tyke (Guest)Published: 03:16:03 14.03.2011
Very useful, thanks very much.