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Animals

Basic Japanese Vocabulary

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There are kanji characters for hippopotamus (河馬), giraffe (麒麟), mouse (鼠), camel (駱駝), squirrel (栗鼠), zebra (縞馬), rabbit (兎) and goat (山羊), but they are often written in hiragana or katakana. 

The counter for small animals is "hiki (匹)" and for large animals is "tou (頭)".

  • Inu ga go-hiki imasu. 犬が五匹います。 --- There are five dogs.
  • Watashi wa kuma o ni-tou mimashita. 私は熊を二頭見ました。 --- I saw two bears.

Click the link to hear the pronunciation.

doubutsu 動物 animals
buta 豚 pig
hitsuji 羊 sheep
inu 犬 dog
kaba かば hippopotamus
kitsune 狐 fox
kirin キリン giraffe
kuma 熊 bear
neko 猫 cat
nezumi ねずみ mouse
ookami 狼 wolf
raion ライオン lion
rakuda らくだ camel
risu りす squirrel
saru 猿 monkey
shika 鹿 deer
shimauma しまうま zebra
tora 虎 tiger
tori 鳥 bird
usagi うさぎ rabbit
ushi 牛 cow/ox
uma 馬 horse
yagi やぎ goat
zou 象 elephant
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