A favorite “reading” activity for our little one is to page through an animal book as we make the accompanying sounds for each animal. He’s getting better at reproducing the sounds himself. Yesterday when we were outside and heard some crows he quickly mastered the, “Caw, caw” sound.
But even our four-year-old finds “What sound does the animal make?” an engaging past time. It gets complicated, however, when their daddy plays along. His idea of the lion’s sound varies significantly from my older son’s. It’s the source of heated discussions. (The boy has a bit too much of his mother’s personality, I’m afraid.) I’ve explained that what sound the animal makes depends on what language a person speaks, but he doesn’t buy it. Neither is he convinced that the person who came from the same continent as the lion might know more than he does.
It wasn’t until my first full-time teaching job that my Korean students informed that a dog says, “Mung, mung,” introducing me to this concept. If it took me that long to figure out just how multilingual animals are, I suppose I needn’t be to too impatient with a child. Perhaps some day for fun, we’ll have a look and listen to one of the several online sites that illustrate the diversity of animal noises across languages.