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Questions tagged [animals]

動物. Japanese vocabulary for animals.

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7
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of ギャップ in the following sentence

Context: a couple is checking out the otters while visiting an aquarium. Boy: 苗代【なえしろ】はカワウソが好きなの? Girl: うん!動物で一番好き。食べる時とか時々ブサイクになるギャップがたまんないの。 What is the meaning of ギャップ in this sentence? ...
1
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1answer
126 views

What sound does a monkey make?

What is the hiragana sound that monkeys make in Japanese (like わんわん for dogs)?
5
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2answers
167 views

Counters for animals: 匹 vs 頭: roughly how big is “big” and how small is “small”?

I find the distinction between 匹 and 頭 is rather tricky, because it is based on the size of the animal in question, and size is very relative and varies greatly among animals, even within the same ...
-1
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1answer
108 views

Is 動物語 a valid term for the sounds that animals make?

Animals make sounds and communicate. Is there a proper name collectively for these sounds?
1
vote
1answer
228 views

What do you treat as an animate and inanimate object when counting?

In Japanese animate and inanimate objects are treated differently. For people: the verb exist いる is used the generic counter (一{ひと}つ, 二{ふた}つ, 三{みっ}つ, ...) cannot be used the specific counter (一{ひと}人{...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

Use of の + how to construct a phrase without it

First, this is my very first post here, and I am a complete newbie when it comes to the Japanese language. I have, however, been very interested in the Japanese language and culture: I have been doing ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

What's the difference between using ヒキガエル and オオヒキガエル for cane toads?

In Stage 2 of Mirai (an Australia-focused Japanese textbook series, not the unrelated app), page 77, the book suggests you use "ひきがえる" for cane toad (Bufo marinus or Rhinella marina). (The book seems ...
10
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2answers
329 views

Why are dogs asked to 「おすわり」 instead of 「すわれ」

In the manga Inuyasha, the heroine Kagome acquires the ability to force the titular Dog-Yokai to fall over by saying 「おすわり」. I figured this must be a typical dog training command, but I wondered why ...
6
votes
1answer
425 views

Can さん or 君 be used on animals?

In Mikan Enikki, the protagonist cat was referred to as ネコさん when his name was not known (e.g. Kikuko Kusanagi called him as such when she didn't know his name), and as みかん君 when someone else talked ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Verbs for animal noises in Japanese?

This is specifically about verbs not onomatopoeia. I understand that you can say 「(動物)は(音)という」, e.g. 「犬がワンという」。But beyond that I've come to two words 吠える and 鳴く, which both seam to be generalised ...
3
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1answer
148 views

Why is ネコ (cat) used in ネコ目 (Carnivora) while the order also includes the suborder イヌ亜目 (Caniformia)?

(The Japanese scientific classification for animals is explained a bit in this answer) The English term Carnivora comes from Latin like most of the scientific terminology. It means simply "meat-...
8
votes
1answer
177 views

When a dog in pain whines or howls, is it 「泣いている」 or 「鳴いている」?

鳴く seems to be the bark, cry, etc. of animals, and 泣く seems to be crying, weeping, etc. of humans (at any rate, associated with pain, sadness, etc.). However, when a dog in pain whines or howls, which ...
18
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1answer
3k views

Is こんこん onomatopoeia for foxes?

I mentioned こんこん to a native speaker, and he hadn't heard it before. Is こんこん the standard onomatopoeia for foxes? If not, what does the fox say?
7
votes
1answer
186 views

Why are some sharks named after birds?

Some sharks are seemingly named after birds: great white shark: hoojirozame 頬白鮫 from hoojiro (meadow bunting) sandbar shark: mejirozame 目白鮫 from mejiro (white-eye) blue shark: yoshikirizame 葦切鮫 from ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Japanese for baby kangaroo

How would I describe a baby kangaroo in Japanese? Would I call it "ジョーイ" (katakana for "joey", which is used in English for pretty much any baby marsupial), or "子カンガルー" (literally baby-kangaroo). The ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Octopus kanji: 章魚 vs 蛸 vs 鮹

I'm trying to determine the most appropriate kanji for タコ (octopus), and have come across three possibilities: 章魚, 蛸, and 鮹. According to jisho.org, all three possibilities are read as たこ. The Pocket ...
7
votes
2answers
714 views

Can そばかす be used to describe a pattern on dog face?

Are these 斑{ぶち} or そばかす? Are freckles (そばかす) in Japanese limited to human? Would it be a mistake to describe a pattern on dog's face as そばかす?
3
votes
2answers
173 views

In daily conversation, frogs are called かえる not かわず, right?

I'm pretty sure that, in daily conversation, "frogs" are called かえる, right? Can someone please confirm this? I know that "frogs" are also called かわず in this 諺{ことわざ} 井の中の蛙{かわず} But, by definition, ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of “gkbrです”

I have noticed the usage of gkbrです in sentences not related to the G insect: 田中さんに掘り返されたことでgkbrです。 恐怖でgkbrですが続きテツヤ待機。 Does it mean "I am afraid and want to crawl under the furniture"?
6
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2answers
253 views

Does the use of 百足 as ateji for ムカデ come from calquing “centipede” (or a cognate)?

The English word "centipede" refers to basically the same type of disgusting creepy-crawly arthropod as the Japanese ムカデ. Sometimes, ムカデ is written in kanji as 百足. This is an obvious case of ateji (...
5
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2answers
779 views

What are the origins of the names of tanuki and kitsune noodle dishes?

Two of Japan's native wild animals are the きつね fox and たぬき raccoon dog. Interestingly there are also noodle dishes apparently named after each. (Not containing the meat of those animals!) The terms ...
5
votes
1answer
510 views

How to know when I should use katakana form words referring to animals, lesser creatures, or other organisms?

I know many words for animals are usually written in katakana in contemporary Japanese, even though kanji exist: イルカ クマ And it seems some very common domestic animals I don't seem to notice written ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

What kind of organisms can be covered by 益虫, 害虫 or 虫?

I came across someone describing a Nihon yamori / gekko as a 益虫, and using "useful insect" in English. Gekkos aren't insects, but it made me curious what it actually does mean. jisho.org only ...
7
votes
1answer
400 views

When should I use「かも」 versus 「アヒル」?

My Japanese friend uses the work 「アヒル」when referring to ducks in a public park. However, another Japanese friend uses 「鴨」(かも)in similar situations. In English, as far as my limited knowledge of the ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Are けもの and けだもの different types of beasts, or simply two variants of the same word?

Both けもの and けだもの are written in kanji as 獣, but is the beast with 'だ' inside more brutal than the one without 'だ'? Or are they simply two variants of the same noun, thus they refer to exactly the ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Kitten: 子猫 vs 小猫 vs 仔猫

Are there any differences (nuances or usage) when using prefix 子, 小 or 仔 for denoting young animals? Examples: Kitten: 子猫 vs 小猫 vs 仔猫 Puppy: 子犬 vs 小犬 vs 仔犬 Pony: 子馬 vs 小馬 vs 仔馬 Calf: 子牛 vs 小牛 vs 仔牛 ...
14
votes
2answers
760 views

Non-distinguished animal pairs in Japanese

This is something I first noticed when I was at an aquarium in Japan (as evidenced in my examples) and continued to see ever since. There are certain pairs of animals, that while extremely similar, ...
22
votes
4answers
28k views

What's the difference between “さけ” (sake) and “しゃけ” (shake)?

Today I saw onigiri claiming to contain "しゃけ" (shake). When I asked my friend what that was, she said it was the same as "さけ" (sake), "salmon". So are these two just different readings of a kanji, ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

What's the difference between “マグロ” (maguro), “ツナ” (tsuna), and “シーチキン” (shiichikin)?

It seems that there are (at least) three words for "tuna" in Japanese: "マグロ" / "鮪" / "まぐろ" (maguro) - Seems to be the native name for the creature and used at least in sushi "ツナ" (tsuna) - Seems to ...