The frog that says "ribbit"

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Donna Richoux:
After the recent conversation here about "ribbit" (ribbet, rivet) as the modern US representation (OED 1968) of the noise the frog makes, I asked myself, which frog does make that sound? The ones of the Northeast sure don't. There was a sound file at the "Sounds of the World's Animals" page that did indeed sound like "ribbet, ribbet" but it was unidentified. So I went cruising for other sound files in hopse of finding both the right sound and the name. I heard a lot of whirring and chirping and plunking, with increasing frustration.

I explained to my husband what I wanted; he thought about it and suggested the Pacific Chorus frog. Unfortunately, I got the name and location mixed up with some similar frogs, so it still took a while. But after he told me again, I found a sound file right away, and Eureka!

Here is the frog that goes "ribbit":
A Pacific Chorus Frog (Hyla pseudacris or Pseudacris regilla) calls from the edge of a stream on Carmel Valley Road, east of Carmel, California, 3/25/99. (34K)
http://www.naturesongs.com/frog4.wav
A California frog! What is more natural to have lodged itself in TV situation comedy than a frog found all over the state of California and up the coast toward Canada? What frog more likely to be used on Hollywood sound tracks?
A painting:

I'm pleased. But I think there's a moral to the story somewhere it would be as misleading to teach our children that all* frogs go "ribbet" as it is that *all birds go "tweet". There's a sort of lazy cultural imperialism here. We can listen for the frogs in our own area say, just by going for evening walks (which is how I learned the New England frogs, but never the California ones.)

Best Donna Richoux
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Pat Durkin:
[nq:1]After the recent conversation here about "ribbit" (ribbet, rivet) as the modern US representation (OED 1968) of the noise the ... just by going for evening walks (which is how I learned the New England frogs, but never the California ones.)[/nq]
Very entertaining.
Now, I wonder if anyone can explain the froggy origin of the "frog in the throat". I have a candidate that it isn't an English-speaking frog, as far as I know.
On a trip to the Yucatan, while spending a balmy evening on the patio beside the pool at a hotel in Merida, a few frogs were a-courtin' oh. The daughter of the hotel owner, sitting in the pool-side barroom, began singing in a very husky voice, the song "Ay! Jalisco, no te rajes!" Being somewhat inebriated, her voice wandered off-key now and then.

Between refrains, the froggy chorus became more and more noticeable as the song progressed (and she must have sung every possible verse). At some point the frogs completely drowned out her voice.
I can't say how or when the song or the froggy response ended. Early the next morning, taking breakfast at the same pool-side table, I watched the maintenance crew net about a ton of the long strings of frog eggs from the surface of the pool, and I was relieved not to have to stay longer and be asked to take a swim. I didn't ask if their was a bumper crop of frogs in the neighborhood after the lady sang there in other seasons.

Or maybe they were toads.
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voice_imitator:
[nq:1]After the recent conversation here about "ribbit" (ribbet, rivet) as the modern US representation (OED 1968) of the noise the frog makes, I asked myself, which frog does make that sound?[/nq]
Did anyone mention Aristophanes' frogs? they make a noise that's written "brekekekex koax koax". I remember a commentator (I suspect it was Sir Kenneth Dover) raised the same question about this: What frogs actually sound like that? Has frog language itself evolved since Aristophanes' time? etc. I can't remember what conclusion he came to.

Anyone know how French or Spanish or German, etc renders frog?

A suggestion, in case it hasn't been said (my apologies if it has). Is it possible that people differ in their perception of frog language? After all, if you're going to transcribe this non-human noise, you have to isolate certain qualities as the most distinctive or promiment, and you assimilate the sound to phonemes you're accustomed to. The process might be very subjective, differing between cultures and languages and persons.
==
Regards,
VI
http://kenm.mydeardiary.com /
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Donna Richoux:
[nq:2]After the recent conversation here about "ribbit" (ribbet, rivet) as ... makes, I asked myself, which frog does make that sound?[/nq]
[nq:1]Did anyone mention Aristophanes' frogs? they make a noise that's written "brekekekex koax koax". I remember a commentator (I ... sound like that? Has frog language itself evolved since Aristophanes' time? etc. I can't remember what conclusion he came to.[/nq]
A few frog species may have gone extinct in that time, but likely not much other change.
Frog calls are as distinct and varied as bird calls it's pretty much limited to one call per frog, but it's unique to that species. For birds, sometimes the call is so distinctive that it has become the name of the bird; some birds go "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" and some go "Bob white?" and some go "Jay!" As different as that.
[nq:1]Anyone know how French or Spanish or German, etc renders frog?[/nq]
That page of "Sounds of the World's Animals" that I suggested gives word lists like that. Here it is:
http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/ballc/animals/
But maybe what you need is not words but to listen to sound files of actual frog calls. You can try some of these:
Guide to Animal Sounds on the Net
http://members.tripod.com/Thryomanes/AnimalSounds.html#frogs

I'm sure you will have no trouble hearing some differences some are a shrill "yeep yeep yeep yeep" and some are "Plonk" and some are "tecka tecka"...
I don't know "brekekekex koax koax" but I bet it could be tied to a particular European species, too, with some knowledge of geographical range.
Ha, while I was looking for a page to suggest to you, I came across another US frog that sounds a lot like "Ribbit" the Carpenter Frog of the South.
http://www.naturesound.com/frogs/pages/carpntr.html

I may have to back pedal on my scorn that California's frog has been taken on as the national standard. I'm rather pleased there is a Southern candidate "ribbet" just sounds to me as if it should have been coined in the backwoods, not in a suburb.
[nq:1]A suggestion, in case it hasn't been said (my apologies if it has). Is it possible that people differ in their perception of frog language?[/nq]
Did you listen to that sound file I gave, and did it sound anything vaguely like "ribbit" or "rivet" to you?
By the way, it should sound like the sound file that illustrates the Georgetown URL above they show a pretty black-and yellow poison dart frog from South America, but they attach someone else's sound. Misleading.
[nq:1]After all, if you're going to transcribe this non-human noise, you have to isolate certain qualities as the most distinctive or promiment, and you assimilate the sound to phonemes you're accustomed to. The process might be very subjective, differing between cultures and languages and persons.[/nq]
That's true. But frogs are so distinctive and so regional, I think we have easier explanations kicking in first.

Best Donna Richoux
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R H Draney:
Donna Richoux filted:
[nq:1]But maybe what you need is not words but to listen to sound files of actual frog calls. You can ... some differences some are a shrill "yeep yeep yeep yeep" and some are "Plonk" and some are "tecka tecka"...[/nq]
I wonder if there's a real frog with a croak close to that of the "ytram" found in the computer game Riven..r
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Laura F. Spira:
[nq:1]Donna Richoux filted:[/nq]
[nq:2]But maybe what you need is not words but to ... yeep" and some are "Plonk" and some are "tecka tecka"...[/nq]
[nq:1]I wonder if there's a real frog with a croak close to that of the "ytram" found in the computer game Riven..r[/nq]
Do you remember Frogger? We played that a lot on our old Sinclair Spectrum. It was very unkind to frogs.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
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the Omrud:
Laura F. Spira had it:
[nq:2]Donna Richoux filted: I wonder if there's a real frog with a croak close to that of the "ytram" found in the computer game Riven..r[/nq]
[nq:1]Do you remember Frogger? We played that a lot on our old Sinclair Spectrum. It was very unkind to frogs.[/nq]
Still a firm favourite with Nerds. There are innumerable versions available online - this is an easy one:
http://www.crazybone.com/onlinegames/link in frame.php?link=450&c=

David
==
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Linz:
[nq:1]Did anyone mention Aristophanes' frogs? they make a noise that's written "brekekekex koax koax". I remember a commentator (I ... sound like that? Has frog language itself evolved since Aristophanes' time? etc. I can't remember what conclusion he came to.[/nq]
I mentioned them, but in another thread.
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J. J. Lodder:
[nq:2]After the recent conversation here about "ribbit" (ribbet, rivet) as ... makes, I asked myself, which frog does make that sound?[/nq]
[nq:1]Did anyone mention Aristophanes' frogs? they make a noise that's written "brekekekex koax koax". I remember a commentator (I ... sound like that? Has frog language itself evolved since Aristophanes' time? etc. I can't remember what conclusion he came to.[/nq]
The only valid conclusion nowadays seems to be
that the letter combinations used to render animal sounds differ enormously in different times and places.
(even when one attemps a more or les phonetic pronunciation according to the rules of the language)
There is a lot of convention involved.
Someone I know had made a collection of it,
based on sources such as translations of Asterix or Donald Duck into various languages.
Best,
Jan
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