The ultimate guide to conversing with animals abroad

Image of a cat looking alarmed
Gunther could scarcely believe what this English schweinhund had called his mother
"mortally offending an Italian dog will be a thing of the past"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Encountering animals abroad is brilliant.

Whether it’s befriending magnificent stray dogs in the Balkans, marvelling at semi-feral restaurant cats in Greece or smiling nervously as you’re accosted by vicious Barbary apes at the Rock of Gibraltar, these are ‘Kodak moments’ which you’ll remember forever.

But most of us fall victim to that very British disease – failing to speak the local lingo.

Indeed, just as most of us resort to speaking very slowly and using ever-so-slightly patronising hand gestures while attempting to order an omelette and chips in an exotic eatery, many of us will also make a dismal impression on local beasts by not communicating in their native tongue.

Thankfully, the ever-helpful boffins at are here to help with their incredible new interactive guide to foreign animal sounds.

Image of Gocompare Straight from the Horse's mouth interactive button

Go on, give it a click

It’ll allow you to fully ingratiate yourself with the locals and wow your travelling companions.

Now you’ll never need to fear embarrassment in front of a Swedish horse by remarking ‘Neigh’ instead of ‘Gnagg’

You can sleep soundly without fear of showing yourself and your country up by greeting a Hungarian chicken with ‘Cock-a-doodle do’ (which means something very rude) instead of ‘Kukiriku’.

And mortally offending an Italian dog by woofing at them instead of making their native ‘bau bau’ noise (we've all been there) will be a thing of the past.

It truly is a boon.

Tell us your stories of cross-cultural mishaps with animals on Twitter and Facebook