Cows Have Accents


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • bovine: related to cows
  • accent: the distinctive tone of a spoken language
  • herd: a group of some types of animals, such as cows and sheep
  • vocalize: to say something out loud
  • phenomenon: an extraordinary observance

Cows Have Accents

Researchers who study bovine behaviour have discovered that cows, like humans, have different accents. Cows in a small herd may all sound very similar, while the same species on the other side of the country or in another country may have their own distinct accent. This phenomenon has also been observed in birds. In English, the word used for a cow sound is “moo”. This type of word is onomatopoeic. The of the word is based on the sound that the word makes. Words like “boom”, “tweet” and “pop” are all examples of onomatopoeia. In many languages, people use the word “moo” or something very similar to vocalize the sound of a cow. This is for other animals, such as pigs. In English a pig says “oink”, while in other countries it says “boo-boo”, “oof”, or “heh-roo”.

Comprehension Questions

  1. How are cows and humans compared?
  2. What type of word is “moo”?
  3. Why does the reading mention pigs?

Discussion Questions: What happens when zoo animals are transferred to different countries where the trainers speak a different language?

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