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Coo coo ree coo and pigeon’s poo

July 26, 2013

My boss’s mom walked in to work the other day with her hair looking wet.

“I was taking the dog for a walk and a bird’s poop dropped on my head!” she said.

I immediately replied, “In Japan that’s considered good luck!”

Memories flooded my mind of the first time I learned of this in high school, when a friend had come to school late for the same reason.

“In Israel too!” she told me.

This brings me to something I wanted to share here on the blog for a while but didn’t quite know how. So, having a pigeon’s (or another bird’s) poo drop right on your head may be considered good luck in many cultures, but what about the interpretation of how certain animals cry?

A chicken, for instance:

In Israel: Coo coo ree coo (קוקוריקו)
In the U.S.: Cock-a-doodle-doo
In Japan: Kokeh-kokko(コケコッコー)

A dog:

In Israel: Hav hav (הבהב) or how how (האו האו)
In the U.S.: Woof woof, arf arf, bow wow
(I actually couldn’t remember and a quick Google search lead me to this article)
In Japan: Wan wan(ワンワン)

A cow:

In Israel: Moo (מו)
In the U.S.: Moo
In Japan: Moh(モー)

A horse:

In Israel: Hee hah (הי-הא)
In the U.S.: I don’t know?
In Japan: Hihiin(ヒヒーン)

While we’re on the subject, after living in a kibbutz for over three years I can now recognize the cries of peacocks, jackals, ostriches (this is because there’s a small zoo nearby…they’re not roaming around in our backyard, don’t worry!), a certain type of owl (that sounds like they’re beeping), and how a certain black/white/tan bird (called Siksak in Hebrew) warns its mate when danger is approaching, and the sound of woodpeckers pecking.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend my friends. If you know of any other funny cultural animal sound differences, please do share in the comment section.






イスラエル: ククリク (קוקוריקו)
アメリカ:  カッカ・ドゥードル・ドゥー(Cock-a-doodle-doo)
日本: コケコッコー


イスラエル: ハヴハヴ (הבהב) または ハウハウ (האו האו)
アメリカ: ウフウフ(Woof woof)、アルフアルフ(Arf arf)、バウワウ(Bow wow)
日本: ワンワン


イスラエル: ムー (מו)
アメリカ: ムー
日本: モー


イスラエル: ヒーハー (הי-הא)
アメリカ: なんて言うんだろう?
日本: ヒヒーン



Much love,

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2013 4:58 pm

    Would like to see you post a picture of the ostriches

    • July 29, 2013 5:08 am

      Oh but he ain’t purty. I say “he” because I’ve never taken a close look at the female. Every time I’ve walked alongside the zoo the male has followed me along the fence, never taking his menacing eyes off of me. I’m scared to think what might happen if I were to point a camera at him, but I’ll try :)

  2. Sammi permalink
    August 2, 2013 10:38 pm

    It has been awhile since I checked in. Hope you are doing very well. I have had a very busy summer, and we recently lost Byron’s mom to a very long illness. No worries, as she is at peace and out of pain. She was ready and it was all very nice in the end, or at least as nice as these things can be. We are all fine now.
    Anyway, I still love reading your postings here!

    A horse in the US says “winny” which really doesn’t explain the sound, but that throaty sound is what it means. Starts out sort of higher pitched, then gets deeper as it goes. Usually with a lip sputter at the end. ;)
    How about cats? Mew or meow for US. And I have been watching a woodpecker out my kitchen window the past few days. He is having a great time on our big oak tree! Oh, my neighbor also raises chickens and geese. In addition to the cock-a-doodle-do the rooster sound is “er-er-er-er-er” and the geese honk.

    So Carolyn will be off to Chicago for college soon. Three more weeks! And Sara is in her senior year at NYU. Danielle is doing well, and enjoying the kids being home from school, but looking forward to them returning to school in the fall. Max will be in 1st grade, and Lily will be in pre-school 3 days a week.

    Life continues, and is busy. I must try to be better at keeping in touch! How is your family? Big hugs to you and Yuval!

    • August 5, 2013 3:13 am

      Hi Sammi! Good to hear from you, I’ve been thinking of you.

      I’m sorry to hear about Byron’s mom, but I’m glad to hear she is at peace now. I can’t believe Carolyn will be going to college! And that Sara only has one year left. Time passes by so fast.

      I did not know about the “winny” (and I went to horseback riding camp growing up!). A cat is also meow in Israel I think, and myaa or nyaa in Japan. A pigeon is poh poh in Japanese, not sure in Hebrew. Now that you’ve mentioned geese, I’m wondering about ducks. I’m not sure what their cry is considered to be in Japan or Israel…

      My family is well, thanks! I actually saw them just yesterday as I am in Japan right now (but haven’t gotten around to blogging about it). Big hugs to you and your family too!


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