Practica: Multilingual beastie icebreaker

Where I come from in Ohio, frogs say, "ribbit", so I was astounded to learn from Aristophanes in high school Greek class that his frogs used to say in chorus, "Βρεκεκέξ κουάξ-κουάξ" (Brekekekex koax koax). His frogs might understand the French frogs near my apartment who keep me awake with, "Croac Croac", but certainly neither of them would understand your average Polish frog's, "Co żaby."  In any case, it's clear that animals, at least as listened to by human beings, speak a variety of tongues and you can find scores of these differences by googling animal sounds in different languages. Here is one resource.

If you happen to have an intercultural training session, that includes people of half a dozen or more different mother tongues, as often happens these days, it can be a fun icebreaker or just a fun break to have folks taking turns making an onomatopoeic animal sound from their native language, having others guess what animal it is, and then sharing the equivalent from their own linguistic background.

I was stimulated to develop this icebreaker when my intern shared with me this music video – and by the way, we still haven't discovered what foxes say in different languages, or if they say anything at all! Enjoy! I leave you with an Irish blessing, "May you never find frogs in your underpants!"

Image: As kids we learned about animal sounds from this nursury rhyme:

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