I mentioned in a previous post that the Portuguese seem to use “Tiquetaque” in place of “Tick Tock”. This made me dig out my old Astérix comics and check out the sounds made by people and things during the course of a story
Here’s the one I remember best ->
So apparently Portuguese roosters say “Cocorocóóóóó” instead of “Cockadoodledooo!” I think this is much cooler. There’s a Portuguese family who have a rooster that crows in the allotment behind the rowing club I’m a member of and now I’ll be able to address him in his own language.
Dogs, I’m less sure of. Dogmatix is called Ideiafix in Portuguese (Asterix character names, on their own, are probably a subject for a blog post for someone with more linguistic skillz than I have now). In the books I have, the only noise he makes is “CAiMM!” but that sounds more like a yelp than a bark. I googled it and apparently the more conventional dog noise is “Au Au”. OK, I can believe that.
Moving on to inanimate objects, how about knocking on a door?
“Truz Truz Truz” is apparently le mot juste. That’s just bizarre though. Are we sure that’s really knocking? Maybe Cacafonix (Cacofonix) is playing his harp outside the door?
Well no, I promise you, that’s knocking and anyway Cacofonix’s harp goes TZOIN (or is there a last letter there? I can’t see because it’s cut off by the edge of the panel. It looks like a rounded letter so I want to make it “TZOING” but I think that’s just my English prejudice coming through to make it as much like “Twang” as I can possibly manage. TZOINO? Ach, who knows.
This one, at least, looks familiar. The crac(k) of a tree as it is pulled down by slaves
And here, the pathos of the Roman centurion reduced to tears
The trouble with Astérix, though, is that you’re never quite sure what is a survival from the original French or perhaps something that the translators made up…
For a more cerebral look at the sounds made by animals in different languages, try this article in the Guardian