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17

First, I think speculating on what people actually know based on what options the language provides is too speculative. For example, I don't know the difference between a porpoise and a dolphin, even though the English language provides the option to specify either one. So the issue of what Japanese speakers know should simply be put aside. However, it is ...


16

「こんこん」 is just about the only onomatopoeia for a fox's cry. It is almost unbelievable what your native speaker friend(?) has told you. In fact, 「こんこん」 can even mean a "fox" just like 「わんわん」 can mean a "dog". See what デジタル大辞泉{だいじせん} says. [副] 1 せきをするときの声を表す語。 2 狐{きつね}の鳴{な}き声{ごえ}を表{あらわ}す語{ご}。 3 固い物が軽く打ち当たったときに発する音を表す語。「扉をこんこん(と)ノックする」 ...


15

Pre-masu form (aka masu-stem, verb stem) has an important grammatical function; it (sometimes) works as a noun! So おすわり is sort of a "noun form" of すわる. Plain nouns are sometimes used as commands also in English, e.g., "Order!" "Attention!" Regarding the prefix お, note that not all words that have it are honorific words. I don't know who firstly used お座り, ...


13

The OP's comment just now is on the right track: 小猫 certainly could be just a small cat. 仔猫 would be more common in science, but for a different reason than you guessed: 仔 is actually the correct character for a child animal, but it's not one of the 1945 -- er, 2136 as of last year, is it? -- 常用漢字. Since 子 looks and means almost the same, it took on the ...


10

Yes, that happens very often in real life when: 1) Small children refer to or address animals. 2) Adults talk to small kids about animals. Even adults often use 「ちゃん」 and 「君{くん}」 to refer to or address the pets of poeple they know well, which is just like referring to or addressing their friends' kids. Here are songs about An elephant (ぞう): https://www....


10

Technically speaking, that would still be 「鳴く」. But as an animal lover or pet owner in that particular situation, you might personify the dog out of empathy and end up choosing 「泣く」. That would not be considered an "incorrect" usage.


10

According to the ja.wikipedia page on GKBR, it can be ゴキブリ as well as: ガクガクブルブル - 恐怖で震えるさまを表す擬態語。 So it'd be "GaKu BuRu," onomatopoeia that represents fearful trembling. It's some 2ch slang, of course. Here also is an entry on the nicovideo dictionary


8

The Japanese Wikipedia has an entry for 益虫 which links to the English Beneficial insects, while 害虫 links to Pest. However, unlike the English term it does look like 益虫 include not only insects (昆虫) but also other small animals: 益虫(えきちゅう、英: Beneficial insects)とは、何らかの形で人間の生活に役に立つ、昆虫など小動物のことを指していう言葉である。 "Beneficial insects(?)" refers the the various ...


8

It's from English "gap". She is referring to the large difference of an otter's face between when it's not eating and when it's eating. I guess she regards the former face as "handsome/cool" and the latter face as "relaxed and cute, although goofy in a sense". ブサイク is normally a negative word, but it's not always negative at least to some young girls... ...


7

I haven't seen そばかす used for animals. In this case, possible expressions include 「ぶち模様の犬」「顔にぶちのある犬」「まだら模様の犬」「ぶち毛の犬」「ぶち犬」.


6

@A.Ellett in the comments points to the best explanation I've seen so far: this answer to the question, 「食肉目とネコ目、どっちが正しい言い方ですか?」 Ultimately, this use of ネコ in ネコ目【もく】 (literally, "cat order") as a label for order Carnivora, rather than the previous 食肉目【しょくにくもく】 label (literally, "eats-meat order") as a direct translation of Carnivora, appears to be a ...


6

Referring to Japanese Wikipedia, it seems the main difference is that アヒル is used for domestic ducks and 鴨 for wild ducks. According to this Chiebukuro post, 家鴨{あひる} "house duck" came about due to selective breeding from 真鴨{まがも} "true duck" or "mallards". Apparently the former is a tame duck created for food and enjoyment. I think there's a fair amount of ...


6

Apparently the reading comes from "毛の物", (as くだもの = 木【く】の物), so both mean "beast" as in "furry mammal" (although I'm sure it will stretch to cover those hairless cats). けだもの has an additional meaning that けもの doesn't, when applied to people (strongly negative, like "he's a monster"). That might also be the reason that 獣道 uses the more neutral reading けもの (...


6

Yes, the everyday word in modern Japanese is カエル. The other word is now basically an archaic synonym appearing in traditional poetry, the proverb you mention, and so forth. They weren't always treated as synonyms, though; if you'd like to learn more about the history of the two words and the difference in meaning they originally had, you might find this ...


6

I think the "ギャップ" is used as more of a colloquial usage than dictionary usage. I found the link : "かわうそファンが6年かけて発見!可愛いすぎる4つのポイント" I borrow the different sentence how "ギャップ" is used from the site. The excerpt is 個人的にはアクリル板をカリカリする仕草がツボです。かわうそのやんちゃさが良く出ています…! しかも、可愛いだけではないのがかわうそのすごいところ!水中をカッコよく泳いだり、時には野性味たっぷりに魚にかぶりついたり。さっきまで、あんなに可愛くしていたくせに…!でも、...


5

If you look at 漢字, then 蛸 is by far the most common option. This is confirmed by the frequency data in the BCCWJ (Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese, via http://nlb.ninjal.ac.jp): タコ  676 results 蛸   129 results ダコ  32 results 章魚  10 results 鮹   2 results 鱆   0 results タコ is still a lot more popular than any 漢字 version. (But that's to ...


4

Roughly speaking, an animal bigger than a human being is "big". As for St. Bernard and kangaroos, both 匹 and 頭 are fine. We usually use 頭 for lions, but using 匹 for a baby lion is fine. In certain scientific contexts, 頭 is preferred regardless of the size.


4

百足 is an ancient Chinese colloquial name for a sort of arthropod. It can be traced to the 6th century document Book of Wei, which includes the passage 百足之蟲,至死不僵,以扶之者眾也 -> "A worm with a hundred feet does not go stiff upon death, since it has many support". The phrase has since found its way into common Chinese idiom in a slightly altered form. The term 百足 ...


4

きつね (foxes) are regarded sacred animals in Shintoism, being servants of the god of harvests ([稲荷]{いなり}神). (source: martle.net) (The sign on the 鳥居 (Shinto archway) says 稲荷大神.) According to legend, a fox's favourite food is 油揚げ (deep-fried tofu slices). Stripes of 油揚げ are what makes きつねうどん きつねうどん. (By the way, 油揚げ can also be sliced up and filled with 酢飯 ...


4

If the kanji for that word is not part of the list of joyo kanji, you should probably go for the kana equivalent. The word is already sort of done for you in this sense. The ones that you're already familiar with, like 魚, 鳥, 馬, 牛, etc. are all common, and you were able to come up with them pretty easily. Something like 欅 though... could you read that? No? ...


3

Part of the variance, and the confusion, arises from the fact that this word is not native to Japanese -- this was originally a borrowing from Ainu. The Ainu term for salmon is variously sak ipe, sak ibe, shak embe, depending on dialect, and apparently both the s- and sh- beginnings were borrowed into Japanese. Modern Hokkaido Ainu seems to use sak ipe, ...


3

In my experience, while 蛙{かえる} is very common, and often written using kana alone, I have never heard 蛙{かわず} in an everyday conversation. I have not found many sources but this answer taken from here seems to sum it up quite well : 「かえる」は日常語として「かわず」は歌語として、言い分けられてきた。 Meaning that indeed, 蛙{かわず} is only used for stylistic purposes nowadays.


2

Basically, you have two choices: 「カンガルーの[赤]{あか}ちゃん」 and 「赤ちゃんカンガルー」 (No 「の」 needed in the latter.) 「カンガルー子」 does not make much sense at all, which you might find surprising. You need to use a particle. 「カンガルーの[子]{こ}」 makes perfect sense, but it does not carry the meaning of "baby" specifically. It includes the toddler version of a kangaroo as well. ...


2

According to the German book "Der Tanuki", たぬきうどん (Tanuki-udon) were invented during a food shortage related to the Second World War. The proper ingredients of tempura udon were too expensive for many customers but the taste of just the fried batter could be had quite cheaply so tempura-udon was served without the filling. This was jokingly explained as the ...


2

キキー or ウキウキ/ウキー. Lots of other pages, too, including lots of other sounds, too.


2

I think we usually say like... 犬が(ワンワン・キャンキャン etc.)吠える・鳴く 猫が(ニャーニャー etc.)鳴く・(ゴロゴロ)[喉]{のど}を鳴らす 鳥が(ピーピー・チュンチュン etc.)鳴く・さえずる (+ maybe 歌う?) ライオンが吠える・[雄叫]{おたけ}びをあげる 狼が(ワオーンと)吠える・遠吠え(を)する 馬が(ヒヒーンと)いななく・鳴く 象が(パオーンと)鳴く etc... Is さえずる purely for birds? Yes, I think so... and you'd use it for pleasant/cute/lovely voices of birds. For example, you might say ...


2

I think it could be '[動物]{どうぶつ}の[鳴]{な}き[声]{ごえ}'. There are words for chirp and carol (さえずり), barks ([吠]{ほ}えごえ),etc. but as a collective term for the sound of animals, it is the only phrase I know of. As for the '動物語', it is what we would likely come up with as a coined word for 'animal language', when we are anthropomorphizing animals playfully. In fact, ...


2

First question: Yes, it's treated that way once personified. Second question: No. For example, 2つのラクダ means "a camel with 2 humps". However, you could say ラクダ2つ if camels are commodity and you recognize them as a kind of vehicles. Counter for animals is enough with 匹. Third question: Yes, and as for robots, you would use 体 as long as you recognize them as ...


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