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A Dragonfly by Any Other Name

A Dragonfly by Any Other Name

While doing some research for a story line yesterday, I came across all the different animal sounds in various languages. I only became aware of this difference a few years ago when a friend's child, whose babysitter was Japanese, began to answer "Boof, Boof," when asked "What does the pig say?" My friend mentioned this to the sitter, who was a bit defensive. "Do you actually hear, 'oink, oink' when a pig makes a sound?" she asked. Hmm, she's got us there.

I remember sitting by a pool a couple of summers ago with a British friend and her French boyfriend watching a dragonfly float past. I told him they were called "mosquito hawks" in New Orleans where I grew up, and I asked him the French word for "dragonfly." He taught me the word: libellulle, which he pronounced lee-beh-loo-lah. It's amazing how differently we look at things when they're called by different names. Shakespeare might've been wrong about that one.

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Posted in March, 2010