Years ago, when I was first taking Italian lessons, I would rent Italian films for practice. One of my favorites was Johnny Stecchino, starring Roberto Benigni. It was fun and silly — though not without some social commentary — although with the speed and accents, it wasn’t always the easiest to follow. Still, that’s what the subtitles were for!
In one of the scenes toward the end, he’s seen leading a group of mafia thugs on a song about the sounds animals make.
There’s a street just off the Piazza Maggiore in the Quadrilatero that has some wonderful animal paintings on the protective grills when the shops are closed. That inspired me to add updating the animals sounds to my current Italian lessons. After all, animals in different countries speak different languages, too! Charlie, my Dutch dog, may not know “drop it” in English, but he does seem to know the equivalent in Dutch. (He wasn’t happy when I finally found the right Dutch term recently.)
So, I present to you the Italian names and sounds of a few animals.
Horses are i cavalli and when they neigh, they say “hiiiiii”
The cow — la mucca — goes “muuuuuu”
The rooster — il gallo — says “chicchirichí [keekeereekee]”
Pop Quiz! What sounds do these animals make?
If you’re thinking that I didn’t tell you what sound the bull (il toro) makes, well, it turns out they make the same sounds as cows. #muuuuuuuu
I hope you enjoyed this illustrated Italian lesson. If you want to learn more, you can find more sounds here. So from me, it’s “ciao” and from Charlie, it’s “bau bau”!