A pig ”speaking” in English will say ”oink-oink”. His Hungarian cousin, the disznó will say ”röf-röf”. You would think they were different animals!
In the US, the cock will screech ”cock-a-doodle-doo”; the kakas, his ”distant” relative six thousand miles away in Hungary will say ”kukuriku”. Their partners, the hens on this side of the Atlantic cackle, but become more verbose tyukok on the other side as they say ”kot-kot-kot-kot-kot-kodács”.
In America, ducks quack; in Hungary, the kacsa say ”háp-háp”. And while turkeys gobble here, over there the pulyka says ”krú-krú”, or ”rút-rút” (perhaps that’s a pulyka dialect!) American geese honk; Hungarian geese (libák) say ”gá-gá”.
Crows here caw; in Hungary the varjú say ”kár-kár”, which may be translated as either ”loss” or ”pity” (as in ”it’s such a pity!”)
Everyone knows that true red-white-and-blue donkeys say ”hee-haw”; in Magyar-land the szamarak say ”i-á”, in a somewhat related and recognizable form. Similarly close is the language of the sheep: in English they say ”baa”, in Hungarian it’s ”be-he-he”.
But the dog and the cat truly speak an international language: while the American dog says ”bow-wow”, his Hungarian counterpart, the kutya says ”vau-vau”. And kitty says meow, while macska/cica says ”miau”, pronounced exactly the same.
We may not even need a translator!
viola vonfi is our correspondent from Stamford, CT. She finds it amusing that one of her ancestors was knighted by Wallenstein during the Thirty Years’ War.