What does the fox say?

What Does The Fox Say?We use the viral video to raise a serious question: can we understand animal talk? ‘Bowlingual’ detects a dog’s emotions by analysing a bark’s sound waves. Students look at emerging research to decide what else the technology can do. Can we translate the sound waves into human speech?

Learning objectives

  • Apply knowledge about sound waves
  • Construct an argument supported by evidence and reasoning to support the claim that a device can interpret dog barks

Try the activity

What does the fox say?

Size: 5.63 MB

Curriculum link

England National Curriculum KS3:

  • Working Scientifically: Analysis and evaluation – present reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses.
  • Physics: Waves – frequencies of sound waves, measured in hertz (Hz).

GCSE Combined Science subject content:

  • Working Scientifically: Analysis and evaluation – presenting reasoned explanations including relating data to hypotheses.
  • Physics: Waves in matter – describe wave motion in terms of amplitude, wavelength, frequency and period.

Running the activity

Starter Introducing the problem can we use science to interpret animal sounds?
Core task Match dog barks to their visual representations.
Plenary Discussion – does the evidence support Bow-lingual’s.
Extension Study evidence to decide whether the Bow-lingual device does what it claims.
Plenary Can science tell us what the fox said?
For detailed running notes, download the teachers guide.


Viral video What does the fox say?
A humorous video from Ylvis of Norway.

Video Bow-lingual
News report showing the Bow-lingual device in action.

Bow-lingual inventor
An interview with Bow-lingual’s inventor

Amazon reviews
Humorous reviews of Bow-lingual