Learn Animal Names in Japanese with these drawings

Posted by on October 5, 2018 – Japanese Study

“にゃん~”、 “わんわん”、“げろげろ”。These are Japanese Onomatopoeia called 擬声語 (Giseigo) used to put into words the sounds animals make. But, do you know what the names of these animals are in Japanese are? Read on to find out!

All illustrations from this post were drawn by a talented Coto Student – Gabriela Zumbado from Costa Rica. She calls this series “Nihongle” – a combination of (Nihongo and Jungle)  If you like her designs and want to see more, you can head over to her Instagram @gacuarela or visit her website www.cargocollective.com/gabrielazumbado

Common Animal Names In Japanese

Turtle ー亀(カメ)Kame
Sharkー鮫(サメ)Same
Frogー蛙(カエル)Kaeru
Monkeyー猿(サル)Saru
Crocodileー鰐(ワニ)Wani
Crabー蟹(カニ)Kani
Rhinocerosー(サイ)Sai
Duckー鴨(カモ/アヒル)Kamo / Ahiru
Mouse/ Ratー鼠(ネズミ)Nezumi
Rabbit ー 兎 Usagi
Lionーライオン – Lion
Tigerー虎(トラ)– Tora
Catー猫(ねこ)– Neko
Dogー犬(いぬ)– Inu
Giraffeー麒麟(キリン)– Kiritsu

Turtle ― 亀 Animal: Turtle 亀 (カメ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to turtles are:

  1. Shark ― 鮫Animal: Shark 鮫(サメ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to sharks are:

  • Shark skin, rough skin: さめがわ 「さめがわ」
  1. Frog ―蛙Animal: Frog 蛙 (カエル)

Words or phrases you can use relating to frogs are:

  • Like father like son: 蛙の子は蛙(Kaeru no ko wa kaeru)
  • A person who does not know much of the world: 井の中のかわず (Ino naka no kawazu)
  1. Monkey -猿Animal: Monkey 猿 (サル)Words or phrases you can use relating to monkey are:
  • Bad relationship: 犬猿の仲 (kenen no naka)
  • Even the smartest man sometimes makes mistakes: 猿も木から落ちる (Saru mo ki kara ochiru)
  1. Crocodile -鰐Animal: Crocodile 鰐 (ワニ) 

Words or phrases you can use relating to crocodile are:

  • Crocodile tears: 空涙(sora namida)
  1. Crab -蟹 Animal: Crab 蟹 (カニ)
  2. Rhinoceros -サイ Animal: Rhinoceros (サイ)

 

  1. Duck - 鴨Animal: Duck 鴨(カモ/アヒル)

Words or phrases you can use relating to ducks are:

  • An easy target/ easily deceived: 鴨 (カモ)になる (kamo ni naru)
  • Convenient: 鴨がねぎ背負って来る (Kamo ga negi wo shotte kuru)
  1. Mouse/Rat - 鼠Animal: Mouse/Rat 鼠 (ネズミ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to mice/rats are:

  • To grow exponentially (multiply like rats): ネズミ算式に増える (Nezumisan shiki ni fueru)
  • Trapped, nowhere to escape: 袋のネズミ(fukuro no nezumi)
  1. Rabbit - 兎Animal: Rabbit 兎(ウサギ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to rabbits are:

  • Hare: 野うさぎ(nousagi)
  • He who runs after 2 hares will catch neither: 二兎を追う者は一兎も得ず (Nito wo ou mono wa itto mo ezu)
  1. Lion -ライオンAnimal: Lion (ライオン)

Words or phrases you can use relating to lions are:

–        “Lion at home, Mouse abroad,” “All bark and no bite”: 内弁慶 (uchibenkei)

  1. Tiger -虎 Animal: Tiger 虎(トラ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to tigers are:

  • Nothing ventured, Nothing gained虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず (koketsu ni hairazunba koji wo ezu)
  • To be under the protection of someone powerful/ influential: 虎の威を借る狐 (Tora no i wo karu kitsune)
  1. Cat - 猫 Animal: Cat 猫(ねこ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to cats are

  • Cast not pearls before swine (such a waste): 猫に小判 (Neko ni koban)
  • Everyone and anyone, even Tom, Dick and Harry: 猫も杓子も (nekomo shakushimo)
  1. Dog ― 犬Animal: Dog 犬(いぬ)

Words or phrases you can use relating to dogs are

  • Sore loser: 負け犬 (makeinu)
  • One should not interfere in lovers’ quarrels: 夫婦喧嘩は犬も食わぬ (Fuufu genka wa inu mo kawanu)
  1. Giraffe - 麒麟 Animal: Giraffe 麒麟 (キリン)

Words or phrases you can use relating to giraffes are:

  • A child prodigy: 麒麟児 (kirinji)