I dedicate this post to Beth Stilborn, writer of picture books, middle-grade and adult fiction, and ‘engine’ for the online Children’s Book Hub. She recently posted a photo that made me say “ouch” out loud (hope it feels a little better now). Searching for an equivalent I found the exclamation uttered with sudden pain (or the thought of it) is almost universal, and no matter where, or with whom you may find yourself there is probably no mistaking what is felt!
Catalan, Estonian, Finnish, Galician, Portuguese: ai
Spanish: !ay, or uy!
Japanese: あっ! (A), or あう (Au)
Arabic: أخ (aakh)
Croatian: jao, avaj
Dutch, Norwegian, Romanian: au
Philipino: aray (ah-wry)
Maltese: aħħ, or ajma (ay-ma)
Iranian: ai, ooi, au, akh, oof
Thai: โอ้ย “oy”
Polish: auć (sounds like ouch’! ) or ała
Chinese: 哎哟 aiyo, or 哎呀 aiya
I wouldn’t know how to pronounce this, or even if it is quite correct, but this is what I found for Tamil, spoken in southern India and north-eastern Sri Lanka:
திடீர் என உண்டாகும் வலியை உணர்த்தும் சொல்
I wonder if this sounds as long as it looks!
Beth is also promoting International Dot Day: Every year on September 15, innovative educators around the world celebrate International Dot Day by making time to encourage their students’ creativity. – click for more info