How To Talk About Animals In German

Can you say ‘das Eichhörnchen’ three times fast?
wild horses illustrating german animal words

It’s well-documented that Germans struggle to pronounce “squirrel” in English. But what goes around comes around, and it’s equally likely that you, an English speaker, will find your mouth proverbially full of acorns as you try to pronounce Eichhörnchen, the German word for “squirrel.” There are many reasons to learn your German animal names, but being able to effortlessly roll this off your tongue might be the best one. The second-best reason might be understanding the weird, literal logic of animal nomenclature in German.

Whether you’re merely trying to round out your German vocabulary or you’re looking for fun new words to practice, the following list can serve as your initial guide to animal names as you learn German. Just click on the play button to hear how they’re pronounced by a native speaker. As a fun bonus, scroll to the bottom to hear what animal noises sound like in German!

General Animal Vocab

the pet — das Haustier

the fur — das Fell

the farm animal — das Nutztier

the sea creature — das Meerestier

the wild animal — das Wildtier

German Animal Words

the fish — der Fisch

the dog — der Hund

the cat — die Katze

the mouse — die Maus

the rabbit — das Kaninchen

the duck — die Ente

the chicken — das Huhn

the cow — die Kuh

the pig — das Schwein

the sheep — das Schaf

the goat — die Ziege

the horse — das Pferd

the elephant — der Elefant

the camel — das Kamel

the goose — die Gans

the pigeon — die Taube

the bird — der Vogel

the penguin — der Pinguin

the parrot — der Papagei

the owl — die Eule

the ostrich — der Strauß

the dolphin — der Delfin

the octopus — der Oktopus

the blue whale — der Blauwal

the bear — der Bär

the wolf — der Wolf

the crocodile — das Krokodil

the snake — die Schlange

the frog — der Frosch

the squirrel — das Eichhörnchen

the giraffe — die Giraffe

Animal Sounds In German

woof — wau

meow — miau

cock-a-doodle-doo — kikeriki

quack-quack — nak nak

moo — muh

ee-aw — iah

ribbit — quak

baa — mäh

caw — krah

cheep-cheep — piep piep

cuckoo — kuckuck

cluck-cluck — gack gack

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