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Onomatopoeia in French language

Onomatopoeia is a word(s) that imitate the sound of an item it is describing. This word is of the Greek origin ”onoma” (name) and “poio” (to create) which means “name creation”.

Onomatopoeia covers a wide range of sounds, the sounds made by animals, devices, musical instruments and so on. It’s important to be aware that in different parts of the world, the words used for the sounds are quite different

Animal Onomatopoeia - the sounds that animals make.

Here are some common French renderings: 

  • cat – miaou
  • cow – meuh
  • dog -  wau wau
  • pig – quiek
  • lion – grr
  • bird – piip
  • hen – kot-kot
  • chick – piou piou
  • rooster – cocorico
  • crow - croa croa
  • duck - coin coin
  • bee - bzzz 

Mechanical Onomatopoeia - machine noises. Examples include: Boum (explosion), Badaboum(chute), doug  (motor); Ron , Raaah – Roaaar, Vroum (motor), Plif – Plaf – Plouf .

Musical Onomatopoeia - some musical onomatopoeia is associated with specific music instruments — Bam – Bim – Bom – Bang ; Ding Dong – Dong; Drelin.