"Voon-voon" says the dog in Laos whilst in Romania the same creature says "ham-ham". The question we may ask here is whether dogs in different locals are saying different things or whether we humans perceive what they are saying differently? It seems common sense that a labrador in Asia and Europe will make the same noise completely independent of its surroundings. Why then does an English speaker, who is thinking "woof-woof", laugh on finding out that in Indonesia, humans perceive dogs as making the sound "gong-gong"?
"Onomatopoeia and Language Perception,"
Word Ways: Vol. 34
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol34/iss3/5