Here are the Japanese sound effects for animals. These are the cries animals make. In Japan, it’s common to speak of an animal’s “voice”– koe (声). Some of these, such as the turtle, merely convey the animal’s “mood”, since obviously turtles don’t actually make any noise!

I got these from my girlfriend, who speaks Tokyo dialect. We had a lot of fun thinking of different critters together. We especially had a lot of fun with the cicadas ;)

After the animal name comes the romaji for the nihongo soundeffect, followed by the hiragana (if you have Jfonts installed). Dashes indicate the vowel is held longer and drawn out.

Bear: guo- ぐおー
Birds: pichu pichu ぴちゅぴちゅ (tweet tweet?)
Bell cricket: ri-n ri-n りーんりーん
Cats: nya-o にゃーお   (meow)
Cats (alternative): nya にゃー
Cats (purring): goro goro ごろごろ (purr)
Chicks: pi-pi- ぴーぴー (peep peep)
Cicada: Varies by species.
Cicada #1: mi-n mi-n みーんみーん
Cicada #2: ji- ji- じーじー
Cicada #3: *See below!
Cow: mo-  もー (moo)
Dogs: wan wan わんわん  (woof woof or bow wow)
Dove: po. po. ぽっぽっ
Duck: ga- ga- がーがー (quack)
Elephant: pao-n ぱおーん (no English transliteration??)
Flies: bu—n ぶーーーん (buzz)
Fox: ken ken けんけん (no English?)
Frogs (big): gero gero げろげろ (ribbit)
Frogs (small): kero kero けろけろ  (ribbit)
Goats/sheep: me-me-  めーめー (baa)
Horse: hihi-n ひひーん (neigh)
Lion/tiger: gao- がおー (roar)
Katydid: gacha gacha がちゃがちゃ
Monkey: kiki or ki-ki- きき or きーきー
Nightingale: ho— hokekyo! ほーーーほけきょ!
Owl: ho– ほーー (hoo)
Pig: bu-bu- ぶーぶー (oink oink)
Pig (alternative): buhi buhi ぶひぶひ (oink oink)
Rat/mouse: chu- chu- ちゅーちゅー (squeak)
Rat/mouse (alternative): ki- ki- きーきー (squeak)
Raven/crow: ka- ka- かーかー  (caw caw)
Rooster: kokekokko- こけこっこー (cock-a-doodle-doo)
Turtle: mu  む (no English voice)
Wolf: wao—-n わおーーーーーーん (how do you spell this in English??)
Woodpecker: kakakakakaka かかかかかか

*Cicada #3: A specific type of cicada, called tsukutsukuhoshi (or tsukutsukuboshi), has a very long and amusing “voice”, whose transliteration varies from speaker to speaker. Some examples are: (Basically, these start slow, speed up, and then climax with a long final vowel)

*tsukutsukuo-shi, tsukutsukuo-shi, tsukutsukuo-shi, … (repeats indefinitely) …o-shitsukutsuku, o-shitsukutsuku, suttokoji-o-, suttokoji-o-, suttokoji-o-, jiiiiiii~.
* つくつくおーし、つくつくおーし、つくつくおーし、つくつくおーし…… おーしつくつく、おーしつくつく、すっとこじーおー、すっとこじーおー、すっとこじーおー、じぃぃぃぃ~。

*tsukutsukuo-shi, tsukutsukuo-shi, tsukutsukuo-shi, tsukutsukuo-shi, … (repeats indefinitely) …tsukutsukui-o-, tsukutsukui-o-, tsukui-o-, tsukui-o-, tsukui-o, iiiiiiii~.
*つくつくおーし、つくつくおーし、つくつくおーし、つくつくおーし…… つくつくいーおー、つくつくいーおー、つくいーおー、つくいーおー、つくいーお、いぃぃぃぃ~。

Interesting side trivia: The noisy locusts in question (the native word is “semi”) can be heard all over the island in late Summer. Their active lifespan is only a week long, though they lie dormant underground for years. And the most astonishing part is, they only sing once in their life, and then, after they reach the climax of the song, they die! So how come their songs seem to drone on nonstop every August? It’s just cuz there are so many of them!

See also my other article on more general SFX: Examples of Japanese Onomatopoeia.