Hebrew animal noises can be really weird

Some animal sounds may get lost in translation.
In Hebrew dogs don't go 'bow wow', they say 'hav hav.' (Photo illustration: the.rookster/Instagram)

Some things are universally accepted, like Newton’s Third Law or the fact that Mondays are the worst. Until my first trip to Israel, I’d have included animal sounds in that list, but alas, it turns out that some animals sound entirely different in Hebrew. So, to save you the embarrassment I’ve already lived through, here are 5 animal sounds that are different from English to Hebrew:


In English, you might hear woof woof, or bow wow, but in Hebrew, dogs say “hav hav” (vowel sound as in “hava neglia” or the “o” in dot).


This is one of those that I still can’t get my head around. In Hebrew, frogs say “kvah kvah” instead of ribbit. (I guess that’s sort of like croak? Though if you ask me, it’s far closer to a quack which only makes me more confused!)


Here’s one that will make you laugh! Hebrew horses say “hee hee” instead of the more common neigh.

Side note: a horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “hey,” and the horse says, “buddy—you read my mind!”


Move over cockadoodledo, there’s a new sound in town: “cuckoo-rickoo” (ree-koo)


In Hebrew, ducks don’t quack, they go “gah-gah.” I guess they’re just born that way.

You can check out Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew? for more!