You Had Me at Wang-Wang

September’s AKC Meet the Breeds event in New York will be your chance to discover dog breeds from six continents. The diversity of cultures and customs they represent can manifest itself in odd, unexpected ways.

Take, for instance, that basic building block of canine conversation: woof-woof. You might assume that woof-woof is the same all over the world.

But, in fact, every country has its own way of expressing it. If you visit Meet the Breeds and fall in love with the dog of your dreams, you can break the ice by talking to him in his ancestral tongue. In the interest of forging a closer canine-human bond among nations, we provide the following translations of woof-woof*.


Country Translation
Chinese (Mandarin) wang-wang
Czech Republic haf-haf
Denmark vuf-vuf
France waouh-waouh
Finland hau-hau
Germany wuff-wuff
Greece rav-rav
Indonesia gong-gong
Iran hauv-hauv
Italy bau-bau
Japan wan-wan
Laos voon-voon
Luxembourg wau-wau
The Netherlands woef-woef
Philippines aw-aw
Portugal ao-ao
Romania ham-ham
Spain guau-guau
Thailand hong-hong


*from “An Onomatopoeia or Glossary of Words Used to Imitate the Sounds Made by Dogs and Cats,” compiled by Frederick Marsh photo Robert Young ©AKC