Hey, everyone! Today we’re going to take a trip to the zoo and discover how to say the names of common animals 動物 (dōbutsu) in Japanese! Strap on your safari hats because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Animal Words in Japanese : A wild welcome to all of you animal lovers out there. In today’s online Japanese lesson we are going to be learning about Japanese animal names. This may come in very handy when it comes to impressing your Japanese friends at the Zoo, but it’s much more than that. Learning about animals in any language is always fun. Animals are universally known however have different meanings and connotations based on culture.

Japan is no different and as you continue your learning journey you will undoubtedly find out all sorts of secrets and hidden meanings that different animals hold within them. Today though we are going to be focusing just on the name of the various animals we are featuring.

We are going to start with the more common pets and go on a wild journey into world of fish, birds, vicious predators and beyond. We have aimed to cover only the most popular and common animals in today’s lessons so you can start recognizing and using the vocabulary straight away. Are you all ready do get wild? Grab your note pad and get ready to take some notes there is going to be a lot of vocabulary.

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Common house pets in Japanese

The cute, cuddly, and, most importantly, domesticated animals are the ones we keep in our homes and consider them part of the family. Here are a list of common pets (ペット, petto).

Pets or ペット, in Japanese, are very handy to know the names of as they are great conversation starters. You can ask your friends what types of pets they have and you can tell them about your own to. In Japan pets are hugely popular, much like in the west, and can be found in most house holds.We are now going to look at the most common pets in Japan and how to say those names in Japanese.

Catneko ねこ
Birdtoriとり
Goldfish Kingyoきんぎょ金魚
DuckAhiru あひる家鴨
DogInu いぬ
RabbitUsagi ウサギ
Hamster  ハムスター
TortoiseKame かめ
pigbutaぶた

Wild animals やせいどうぶつ

Here’s where it gets real fun! The non-domesticated animals that need to be locked in cages! Although some can be dangerous in the wild, we still love these animals, and they are the spotlight features of any zoo exhibition.

Wild animals are definitely cool. These are the animals that we all know and love, but certainly don’t want to get to close to. From the plains of Africa to the snowy mountains of Japanese we are going to now check out and learn the names of the wildest animals from all over the world. You will be able to use this type of vocab in everyday situations, especially when discussing your favourite animals.

alligatorwaniワニ
bearkumaくま熊 
pandapanda パンダ
polar (white) bearshiro kumaしろくま白熊
lionraionライオン
wolf ookamiおおかみ
monkey saruさる
elephantzouぞう
rhinosaiサイ
scorpionsasoriさそり
snakehebiへび
tigertoraトラ

Animals of the sea – かいようせいぶつ

Join us under the sea now as we look at the names of sea creatures both big and small in Japanese. From the great whales to the humble tuna fish we are going to learn lots of new vocabulary, perfect for you sushi lovers out there. Ordering just got a whole lot better. 

dolphinirukaイルカ
crabkani
カニ
foxkitsune
sharksameサメ
whalekujira
carpkoiこい
fishsakana

Livestock and Poultry

And of course, let’s not forget the animals that we rely on as a source of food, clothing, and other daily needs!

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
ushicow
butapig
niwatorichicken
hitsujisheep
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Birds とり

Next our Japanese animal journey takes us into the skies to learn the names of the birds. From the eagles to the pigeons we are going to look at lots of our feathery friends. Do we have any bird watchers here today? If so you are going to get a lot from this.

Birds (鳥, tori) are characterized by their wings (羽, hane), feathers (羽毛, umō), and beaks (嘴, kuchibashi). 

Below are some of the more common birds we see in cities, towns, and places near the ocean and bodies of water.

Owlfukurou
フクロウ
swanhaku chou白鳥
chickenniwatoriニワトリ
penguinpenginペンギン
crow karasuからす
hawktaka鷹 
eaglewashi鷲 
cranetsuru
PigeonHato

Wild Birds in Japanese

Here’s where it gets real fun! The non-domesticated animals that need to be locked in cages! Although some can be dangerous in the wild, we still love these animals, and they are the spotlight features of any zoo exhibition.

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
コンドルkondoruvulture
フクロウfukurōowl
ワシwashieagle
takahawk/falcon
ペンギンpenginpenguin
カナリアkanariacanary
フラミンゴfuramingoflamingo
孔雀kujakupeacock
駝鳥dachōostrich
エミューemyūemu
極楽鳥gokurakuchōbird of paradise 
キジkijipheasant

Saltwater Fish and Animals

A variety of creatures (生物,seibutsu) find their habitat in the sea (海, umi). Some of them are fish (魚, sakana), and others look like beings from another world (octopi and jellyfish come to mind)! And still others don’t even look like living things at all (sponges)! Here is a list of common beings found in the sea. 

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
sakanafish
クラゲkuragejellyfish
hamaguriclam
いかikasquid
たこtakooctopus
taracod
sameshark
うなぎunagieel
イルカirukadolphin
kujirawhale
海綿kaimensponge
クマノミkumanomiclownfish
イソギンチャクisoginchakusea anemone
フグfugupufferfish/blowfish
人手hitodestarfish
kanicrab
ナマコnamakosea cucumber
sakesalmon
sabamackerel
タツノオトシゴtatsu no otoshi gosea horse
アカエイakaeistingray
magurotuna
ロブスターrobusutālobster
ホタテhotatescallop
kaishellfish
ムール貝mūrugaimussel
牡蠣kakioyster
海老ebishrimp

Creepy Crawlys

Insects, otherwise known as こんちゅう in Japanese are hated by many, but still loved by some. We are going to now look at some insect vocabulary that will get your skin crawling. Perfect when warning somebody about that impending cockroach crawling towards them

mosquito ka 
beetle kabutomushi甲虫
butterflychoo 
aburamushi aphid油虫
cricket  korogi   
spiderkumo
flea nomi  蚤

Summary 

Well animal lovers, that brings an end to our online Japanese lesson. You should have now a fantastic range of animal names now in your vocabulary which you will be able to use in daily conversation with Japanese. If you come across an animals that you don’t know yet, make sure you check it out online and add it to your library. Of course it’s going to be quite hard to learn every single animal name, as there are 100’s! Just go for the ones that interest you and deem to be necessary for your communication at first.  They are fun to learn and usually very easy to remember. Thanks for joining us today everyone and as always if you have any other topics you would like us to talk about, leave a comment and we will get back to you.

List of Animals and Animal Words

Now that you’ve got a huge vocabulary list, make use of your next visit to the zoo by identifying the animals in both their English names and their Japanese names!

Remember, practice makes perfect!

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
動物dōbutsuanimal
生物seibutsucreature
tsumeclaw
尻尾shippotail
toribird
hanewing
羽毛umōfeather
kuchibashibeak
takahawk/falcon
ペンギンpenginpenguin
カラスkarasucrow
白鳥hakuchōswan
カナリアkanariacanary
kamoduck
カッコウkokkōcuckoo
雄鶏ondorirooster
七面鳥shichimenchōturkey
コマツグミkomatsugumirobin
駝鳥dachōostrich
鵞鳥gachōgoose
雌鶏mendorihen
washieagle
家禽kakinfowl/poultry
niwatorichicken
孔雀kujakupeacock
suzumesparrow
umisea/ocean
sakanafish
hirefin
クラゲkuragejellyfish
ニシンnishinherring
koicarp
hamaguriclam
いかikasquid
masutrout
たこtakooctopus
金魚kingyogoldfish
イワシiwashisardine
taracod
sameshark
うなぎunagieel
イルカirukadolphin
昆虫konchūinsect
カタツムリkatatsumurisnail
ナメクジnamekujislug
クモkumospider
nomiflea
甲虫kōchūbeetle
gamoth
chōbutterfly
イナゴinagograsshopper
ariant
雀蜂suzumebachiwasp
バッタbattalocust
毛虫kemushicaterpillar
ミミズmimizuworm
哺乳類honyū-ruimammal
ōkamiwolf
kujirawhale
toratiger
雌馬meumamare (female horse)
ライオンraionlion
umahorse
kumabear
elephant
kitsunefox
バッファローbaffarōbuffalo
nezumimouse
butapig
ビーバーbībābeaver
騾馬rabamule
雄牛oushibull
シマウマshimaumazebra
キンリンkiringiraffe
マンモスmanmosumammoth
sarumonkey
hyōleopard/panther
nekocat
コアラkoarakoala
大鼠ōnezumirat
雄羊ohitsujiram
リスrisusquirrel
トナカイtonakaireindeer
ushicow
ウサギusagirabbit
ゴリラgoriragorilla
野ウサギnousagihare
カンガルーkangarūkangaroo
鹿shikadeer
子羊kohitsujilamb
子牛koushicalf
ラクダrakudacamel
子犬koinupuppy
ハムスターhamusutāhamster
コウモリkōmoribat
inudog
hitsujisheep
ushicow
山羊yagigoat
パンダpandapanda
ポニーponīpony
子猫konekokitten
爬虫hachūreptile
蜥蜴tokagelizard
ヘビhebisnake
両生類ryōseiruiamphibian
カエルkaerufrog
カメkameturtle
蟇蛙hikigaerutoad
真菌shinkinfungus

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