After being married to my Pakistani husband for close to three years, and having known him for four and a half years, I knew a bit about the Urdu language. I was not fluent, by any means - I'm still not! But I could partake in some rudimentary conversations, could greet the Aunties and Uncles, and could eavesdrop on conversations (and sometimes come up with wildly inaccurate thoughts of what the conversations were about.)
But then, an extraordinary surprise. We had a baby. And then my husband started speaking that high-pitched, cooing, sometimes senseless kind of speech one uses when talking to a baby. I've heard it called "motherease" but I guess this was "fatherease." Urdu fatherease. And it lead me to a starting conclusion:
Animals speak different languages too.
For some reason, when people talk to babies, they talk about animals a lot. A disproportionate amount of baby books have to do with animals. And the noises they make. And when M is reading a book to the baby, he reads it in Urdu. Even the animals noises.
These are NOT the animal noises I am used to. It seemed unquestionable to me that a dog say "Ruff! Ruff!" but that's not what my husband thinks. He thinks a dog says "Boh! Boh!" I hadn't thought that animals noises were just cultural. It really did come as a surprise.
For your reference, in case you too are surprised by this revelation, I've listed some of the ones that are different:
Dog - boh-boh
Bird - chain - chain
Mouse - choon-choon
Crow - Kain-Kain
Rooster - "Kukrun-Koon
Duck - Qain - Qain
Goat - Main-Main
Frog - Turr-Turr
Fly - Bhun-Bhun
Donkey - Dheenchoon-Deenchoon
Parrot - Tahn-Tahn
Pigeon - Ghuterghone-Ghoon
Lamb - Bhan-Bhan
Lion - Oooohh (rather than "Rawr", but it doesn't translate well. You'd have to hear M say this one, it's really funny. I make fun of him all the time for it, but he stick up for it. He says his is the sound a REAL lion makes, and "Rawr" is the sound a cartoon lion makes.)
(Pronunciation Note: I think most or all of the N's at the end of those pronunciations are those nasal, almost silent kind.)
(Also, Muslim joke - when I asked M about what a Pig says, he said Pigs don't say anything. And then he joked that it's haram (forbidden) to listen to pigs anyway.)