Esperanto Language Blog

Esperanto Onomatopoeia Posted by on Aug 20, 2009 in Esperanto Language

“Onomatopoeia” is the formal term for any word whose function is to imitate a sound. In English, they encompass such words as “woof” for the bark of a dog, “moo” for the lowing of a cow, and the like. Esperanto has its fair share of them, as well. You can find a quick sample list in this Lernu! discussion thread. So far, I’m a fan of “zum,” the Esperanto term for buzzing. It sounds much like the English “zoom,” so they’re roughly cognates in my mind.

Since onomatopoeia are supposed to be phonetically similar to the sounds they identify, many can be improvised, and some can vary from country to country. For example, I’ve heard that the German word for the sound of a barking dog is “gow” or “gau.” This leads me to the question for today, dear audience. Do you know of any varied onomatopoeia for the same sound in Esperanto? Also, what other onomatopoeia do you happen to enjoy? Feel free to share them here.

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  1. Johano:

    A dog in Esperanto says “boj boj”. To bark is “boji”.

  2. Dr Robb Kvasnak:

    In Esperanto there is the verb ululi which means which means to howl. There is an English cognate: ululate.

  3. inga.johansson:

    Mi proponas la Rankvarteto de Baghy(-n)