Questions tagged [animals]

動物. Japanese vocabulary for animals.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
12 votes
2 answers

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, ...
istrasci's user avatar
  • 43.9k
5 votes
1 answer

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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 15.2k
22 votes
4 answers

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, ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 15.2k
8 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Joel Roberts's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer

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?
Andrew Grimm's user avatar
  • 16.2k
8 votes
1 answer

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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 15.2k
1 vote
1 answer

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, all three possibilities are read as たこ. The Pocket ...
GoBusto's user avatar
  • 758