Yiddish animal sounds that will make you LOL

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LIOR ZALTZMAN, KVELLER

This story originally appeared on Kveller

Last month, Kveller had the honor of hosting an amazing author and Yiddish professor Miriam Udel, who led us in a family-friendly introduction to Yiddish class. It was hardly your run-of-the-mill, didactic session. Instead, Udel introduced us to some really fascinating Yiddish sounds — namely, Yiddish animal sounds.

Yes, Yiddish animal sounds! As you may already know, animal sounds have their own delightful particularities in every language — it’s true: not every dog across the globe goes “woof” —  and Yiddish is no different. Most of these animal sounds will not be familiar to English speakers, but if you speak Hebrew, you’ll notice some similarities. In Yiddish and Hebrew, for example, a dog (or “der hunt”  in Yiddish) says “hav, hav.”  A rooster (or “der hon”) goes “kukuriku” in both Yiddish and Hebrew, as opposed to “cock-a-doodle-doo!”

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Some other fun sounds include “hirz,” which is, of course, what a horse (“dos ferd”) says, while “der indik” (a turkey!) goes … wait for it … “holder-holder.”

You can read the full, adorable chart of animal names and sounds here.

During the lesson, Udel, who is an expert in Yiddish children’s literature, and the author of Honey on the Page,” a compilation of translated classic Yiddish children’s tales, also read a wonderful story from her book called “The Chickens Who Wanted to Learn Yiddish.” She also shared some wonderful Yiddish resources with us (and yes, she’s down with DuoLingo’s Yiddish classes!).

You can watch the entire delightful lesson below. If you want more Yiddish, keep following us for forthcoming programming, and check out this upcoming family-friendly Yiddish theater performance of a puppy tale that Udel translated from Yiddish.