On International Cat Day, how do you say “Meow” in different languages?

Today, 8th August, is International Cat Day. People with an interest in cats are taking time to celebrate these remarkable animals.

International Cat Care   is encouraging cat owners to take five minutes a day to play with their cats to improve their physical health and mental wellbeing.

Meanwhile, the language teaching website, Preply, has taken time to do some research into language used about aspects of cat life around the world.

What are feline creatures called in different countries?

In English, we all know that the cat is called a “cat”, while it’s “chat” in French, katze in German, kat in Danish and katt in Norwegian.

The term “cat” is pronounced “gato” (/ato/) in both Spanish and Portuguese, while “gato” (/atu/) is also used by Brazilian Portuguese speakers.

Mandarin speakers use the word “mao” (/ma/) to refer to a cat, while the Japanese word for “cat” is “neko” (/neko/).

As we head towards East Africa where Swahili is a very common language, the term for “cat” is “paka” (/paka/).

how do you say Meeeeow around the world?

In countries like the US and the UK where English is the most common language, the typical cat sound is written as “meow” and spoken as /mi-ow/.

The French language has the lovely “meow” pronounced as /mwa/, while German speakers have a more lively “miau”, pronounced “mia”.

Looking further east, we come across amazing contrasts in sounds. The cat’s “meow” is frequently written as “nyaa” and is pronounced as “a” in Japan. In Mandarin, the word “miao” is pronounced as “/mja/”.

In Latin America, Spanish speakers use the familiar “miau” pronounced as /mjaw/ to represent a cat’s sound.



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