Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Those Crazy Frogs: «Piou-Piou»

One of the loveliest things about being married to FrenchBoy is the absolutely asinine conversations we have in bed just before we drift off to sleep. Over the last few months we have talked about countless idiotic topics including but not limited to: the spiritual meaning behind snoring patterns, to what degree your brain shuts off your ears while you are asleep, and my personal favorite- a lively debate over whether or not we should start sleeping farther apart so that one night we don’t accidentally die from asphyxiation due to hours of breathing eachother’s carbon dioxide.

So it is no surprise that last night we found ourselves in a discussion about French onomatopoeia. You see, I have one of those alarm clocks that simulates the sunrise. In addition to the gradually increasing light, instead of a normal alarm sound, which makes me wake up in a fright, my alarm plays a recording of birds chirping in the forest. Chirp chirp chirp. While we were talking about my chirping alarm, French boy informed me that French birds don’t chirp or tweet or sing instead they go:


After I stopped laughing, I informed FrenchBoy that no bird on earth, not even a French bird, could possibly make the sound « Piou-Piou» because birds don’t have lips to form the “P” sound. At best perhaps a cow could go « Piou-Piou» seeing as they obviously have lips if they are making the “M” sound in the french «Meuh», but even that is a stretch.

In the end FrenchBoy and I agreed to disagree.

Other French sounds you should know about:
A dog goes: «ouah ouah»
A horse goes: «hiiiiii»
And one of my personal favorites: «Cocorico» for "cock-a-doodle-doo"

If after reading this post you still have time to waste, go to this website and educate thyself on animal languages around the world.


Samantha said...

This was one of my favorite lessons to do with my elementary kids - they thought the American version of all the animal noises was so hilarious. And I was always like "But come on.....cocorico???"

It's funny how even other everyday sounds like "Bang", "Bam", "Knock knock" etc differ (Boum, Paf, Toc Toc). Or there's also "ow" vs "aïe".

Shanster said...

Animal sounds...right up my alley!
:) Fun - thanks for sharing

Megan said...

That is so funny. we have talked about it too. Have you noticed that when French sneeze, they say Atchoum instead of atchoo?

Anonymous said...

My Old MacDonald lesson just got a whole lot more complicated...

Susan said...

I know this is an old post...but I had to comment. I just moved to Lille and am engaged to a French Fella and we have the animal conversation quite often! Love your blog, hope your quest for world domination in the art industry (or really any area of life) is successful!


anji said...

I used to have those same conversations with my ex, hahaha!

my friends from germany came to canada and asked,

"My french teacher asked me to ask you, what sound does a cock make?"

*insert awkward look from my mom and I*

"What do you mean?" I asked, hoping she would repeat and I would hear properly.

"What sound does a cock make?" she asked again.

"Um," I started, remembering I'm only 18 years old and my mom is right beside me, "Um, I didn't realise a cock made noise?"

"Yes! It goes in German, Crikle-lee-creeee, Crickle-lee-cree!"

I exchange glance back to my mom and we both have that, What the fuck? look going on.....

"Um, a cock! You know, a male chicken?"


True story!