Onomatopoeia In Chinese: Animal And Other Mimetic Words

Written byZoe Mei

Just like other languages, Mandarin Chinese onomatopoeia are mimetic words that mimic animal sounds, emotions and machines.

Animal Onomatopoeia in Chinese

Animal English Chinese Pinyin
Birds chirp-chirp 唧 唧 喳 喳 jījīzhāzhā
Cats meow miāo
Cows moo mōu
Crows caw-caw 哇 哇 / 啞 啞 wā wā/yā yā
Ducks quack-quack 咕 咕 gū gū
Horses neigh / whinny 嘶 / 咴 兒 咴 兒 sī / huīr huīr
Mosquitoes buzz 嗡 嗡 wēng wēng
Sheep baa miē
Wolves howl 嚎 / 嗥 háo

Other Onomatopoeia in Chinese

English Chinese Pinyin
cough hāi
glug glug (drinking) 咕 嘟 咕 嘟 gūdūgūdū
puff of air
heavy breathing 咻 咻 xiū xiū
sound of tears streaming down the face 噗 嚕 嚕 pūlùlù
Sound of water or soup bubbling 咕 嘟 gūdū
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