Animal Sounds in German With English Translations

English-German Glossary of Animal Sounds

What does the fox say (in German?)
Getty Images/James Warwick

You might think the sounds animals make are universal, but animal noises actually appear differently to people depending on whether they speak German, English, French, Spanish or another language. For example, the way a dog ​barks is written differently in German than it is in English.

With the guide below, review the German spellings for common animal sounds (known as Tiergeräusche) and compare them to the way these sounds are written and described in English. Translations of the German sounds and the animals that make them are provided to improve your understanding. 

First look at the German-to-English animal sound glossary and then look at the English-to-German glossary. When you finish reading the guide, try saying the sounds out loud or practicing them with a partner. Consider putting the German animal sounds on flashcards to test your memory of them.  

Deutsch English
blöken bleat, low (cattle)
brüllen, brummen roar
brummen, summen buzz (bees, bugs)
fauchen (Katze)
zischen (Schlange)
hiss
gack gack
gackern, kichern
cluck cluck
to cluck
grunz grunz oink oink
grunzen grunt, oink
gurren coo
heulen, jaulen howl
iaah hee haw
kikeriki cock-a-doodle-doo
knurren growl, snarl
krächzen caw, squawk
krähen crow
kreischen, schreien screech
kuckuck cuckoo
miau meow
muh moo
pfeifen whistle
piep piep
piep(s)en
peep peep, cheep cheep
to peep
quaken quack, croak
quaken croak, quack
quieksen, krächzen (parrot) squeal, squawk
schnattern gaggle (geese, ducks)
schnurren purr
schnauben snort
schreien, rufen hoot (owl)
singen, schlagen sing (birds)
trillern warble, trill
tschilpen, zirpen, zwitschern chirp
wau wau
wuf wuf
bow-wow
woof-woof
Dogs bark, go arf, yap, growl and howl. Hunde bellen, blaffen, kläffen, knurren und jaulen.
wiehern whinny, neigh
zischen (Schlange)
fauchen (Katze)
hiss
English Deutsch
bleat, low (cattle) blöken
bow-wow
woof-woof
wau wau
wuf wuf
buzz (bees, bugs) brummen, summen
caw, squawk krächzen
chirp tschilpen, zirpen, zwitschern
cluck cluck
to cluck
gack gack
gackern, kichern
cock-a-doodle-doo kikeriki
coo gurren
croak, quack quaken
crow krähen
cuckoo kuckuck
gaggle (geese, ducks) schnattern
growl, snarl knurren
Dogs bark, go arf, yap, growl and howl. Hunde bellen, blaffen, kläffen, knurren und jaulen.
grunt, oink grunzen
hee haw iaah
hiss fauchen (Katze)
zischen (Schlange)
hoot (owl) schreien, rufen
howl heulen, jaulen
meow miau
moo muh
oink oink grunz grunz
peep peep, cheep cheep
to peep
piep piep
piep(s)en
purr schnurren
quack, croak quaken
roar brüllen, brummen
screech kreischen, schreien
sing (birds) singen, schlagen
squeal, squawk quieksen, krächzen (parrot)
snort schnauben
warble, trill trillern
whinny, neigh wiehern
whistle pfeifen

Wrapping Up

Now that you've finished reading the guide, note which animal sounds were your favorite. Try singing a nursery rhyme with lots of animal sounds such as "Old McDonald Had a Farm" in English, and then practice singing the animal sounds in German. If you have children or younger brothers and sisters, invite them to join in. Try teaching them the new animal sounds you've learned. Singing the German animal sounds will help you to retain them.