How to say 183 popular animal names in German, sea to sky

Author

Martin Mehner

Learning the names of animals is always one of the most enjoyable aspects of a new language. Especially if you are an animal lover or you are learning with kids!

German is an advantageous language to learn, and getting familiar with the most common animals is one of the essential parts of a learner’s vocabulary. Needless to say, learning about animals is a perfect way to prepare for a trip to Germany as well. Animals are everywhere, and being able to use your newly acquired vocabulary in real life is very easy in this case.

Note that German words are written in cursive in this post.

Let’s get started learning the German Tiere (ˈtiːʁə).

Farm animals in German

Farm animals in German.

This section will explore the most common farm animal names in the German language.

Nutztiere (ˈnʊtstiːɐərə) is the German term for the word farm animals and is also used for animals for commercial use.

To give you as much information as possible, we have included:

  • a table with names of the animals;
  • the terms used for males and females;
  • as well as the terms for the young animals and what they’re called collectively.

That way, you can really boost your German animal vocabulary!

English nameGerman animal name (singular)German animal name (plural)MaleFemaleYoungCollective noun
PigSchwein [ʃvaɪ̯n]SchweineEberSauFerkelRotte
ChickenHuhn [huːn]HühnerHahnHenneKückenBrut
CowRind [ʁɪnt]RinderStier/BulleKuhKalbHerde
SheepSchaf [ʃaːf]SchaafeBockMutterschafLammHerde
GoatZiege [ˈt͡siːɡə]ZiegenBockGeißKitzHerde
HorsePferd [p͡feːɐ̯t]PferdeHengstStuteFohlenHerde
DonkeyEsel [ˈeːsəl]EselEselhengstEselstuteEselfohlenHerde
Rabbit Kaninchen [kaˈniːnçən] Kaninchen Rammler Zibbe - Kolonie
Bee Biene [ˈbiːnə] Bienen Drohne Arbeiterin Larve Schwarm
Duck Ente [ˈɛntə] Enten Erpel Ente Küken Schoof
Goose Gans [ɡans] Gänse Ganter, Gänserich Gans Gänseküken, Gössel Schoof
Turkey Truthahn [ˈtʁuːtˌhaːn] Truthähne Truthahn, Puter Truthuhn, Truthenne Küken -
Quail Wachtel [ˈvaxtḷ Wachteln Hahn Henne Küken -
Pheasant Fasan [faˈzaːn] Fasane Hahn Henne Küken Bukett
Ostrich Strauß [ʃtra͜us] Strauße Hahn Henne Küken Herde
Emu Emu [ˈeːmu] Emus Hahn Henne Küken Herde
Nandu Nandu [ˈnandu] Nandus Hahn Henne Küken Herde
Stag Hirsch [hɪrʃ] Hirsche Bock Kuh Kalb Rudel
Deer Reh [reː] Rehe Bock Kuh Rehkitz Rudel
Llama Lama [ˈlaːma] Lamas Hengst Stute Fohlen Herde
Alpaca Alpaka [alˈpaka] Alpakas Macho, Hengst Hembra, Stute Cria, Fohlen Herde
Vicugna Vikunja [viˈkʊnja] Vikunjas Hengst Stute Cria, Fohlen Herde
Guanaco Guanako [ɡu̯aˈnako] Guanakos Hengst Stute Cria, Fohlen Herde
Dromedary Dromedar [ˈdroːmedaːɐ̯] Dromedare Hengst Stute Fohlen Herde
Bactrian camel Trampeltier [ˈtʁampl̩ˌtiːɐ̯] Trampeltiere Hengst Stute Fohlen Herde
Yak Yak, Jak [jak] Yaks, Jaks Bulle Kuh, Bri Kalb Herde
Zebu Buckelrind [ˈbʊkl̩rɪnt] Buckelrinder Bulle Kuh Kalb Herde
Water Buffalo Wasserbüffel [ˈvasɐbʏfl̩] Wasserbüffel Ochse Kuh Kalb Herde
Mule Maultier [ˈmaʊ̯ltiːɐ̯] Maultiere Hengst Stute Fohlen Herde
Hinny Maulesel [ˈmaʊ̯l|eːzl̩] Maulesel Hengst Stute Fohlen Herde
Guinea Fowl Perlhuhn [ˈpɛrlhuːn] Perlhühner Hahn Henne Perlhuhnküken -
Moose Elch [ɛlç] Elche Bulle Kuh Kalb Rudel
Reindeer Rentier [rɛnˈti̯eː] Rentiere Renhirsch Renkuh Kalb Herde

Zoo animals in German

Zoo animals in German.

Germany offers plenty of excellent zoos such as the Zoo Leipzig or the Tierpark Berlin. If you’re looking to visit one of the German zoos, it doesn’t hurt to know the German names of the animals usually found there.

Here we go with the Zootiere [ˈt͡soːˌtiːʁə] (zoo animals). As you might have guessed, Zoo is just the same in both German and English. But keep in mind that despite the same spelling, the pronunciation is quite different. The best example of this is der Zoo which is pronounced as [zuː] in German.

Many of the Zoo animals in German are quite similar to their English counterparts, making it a lot easier for you to learn them

English nameGerman (singular)German (plural)MaleFemaleYoungCollective noun
GiraffeGiraffe [d͡ʒɪˈɹæf]GiraffenBullenKüheJungtierGruppe
LionLöwe [ˈløːvə]LöwenLöweLöwinLöwen-welpeRudeln
PandaPanda [ˈpanda]PandasPanda-männchenPanda-weibchenJungtierGruppe
WolfWolf [wʊłf]WölfeWolfWölfinWelpeRudel
TigerTiger [ˈtiːɡɐ]TigerTiger-männchenTiger-weibchenWelpeGruppe
CamelKamel [kaˈmeːl]KameleKamel-hengstKamel-stuteFohlenGruppe
ElephantElefant [eləˈfant]ElefantenBulleElefenten-kuhJungtierHerde
FlamingoFlamingo flami:ŋɔFlamingos--JungtierGruppe
Polar Bear Eisbär [ˈaɪ̯sˌbɛːɐ̯] Eisbären - Eisbärin - -
Hippopotamus Nilpferd [ˈniːlˌp͡feːɐ̯t] Nilpferde Bulle Kuh Kalb -
Zebra Zebra [ˈt͡seːbʁa] Zebras Hengst Stute Fohlen Herde
Gazelle Gazelle [ɡaˈt͡sɛlə] Gazellen - - - Herde
Buffalo Büffel [ˈbʏfl̩] Büffel Büffeloch Büffelkuh Kalb Herde
Salamander Salamander [zalaˈmandɐ] Salamander - - - -
Rhinoceros Nashorn [ˈnaːsˌhɔʁn] Nashörner - - - Herde
Penguin Pinguin [ˈpɪŋɡuiːn] Pinguine - - Küken Kolonie, Floß
Cheetah Gepard [ˈɡeːpaʁt] Geparden - - - -
Wildcat Wildkatze [ˈvɪltˌkat͡sə] Wildkatze - - - -
Lynx Luchs [lʊks] Luchse Kuder Katze - -
Cougar Puma [ˈpuːma] Pumas - - - -
Hyena Hyäne [hyˈɛːnə] Hyänen - - - Clan
Mongoose Mungo [ˈmʊŋɡo] Mungos - - - -
Impala Impala [ɪmˈpaːla] Impala - - - -
Jackal Schakal [ʃaˈkaːl] Schakale - - - -
Wildebeest Gnu [ɡnuː] Gnus Bulle Kuh Kalb Herde
Antelope Antilope [antiˈloːpə] Antilopen Bulle Kuh Kalb Herde
Nyala Nyala [ˈnjaːla] Nyala Bulle Kuh Kalb Herde
Porcupine Stachelschwein [ˈʃtaxl̩ʃvaɪ̯n] Stachelschweine - - - -
Xerus Schlichtborstenhörnchen [ʃlɪçtbɔʁstn̩hœʁnçən] Schlichtborstenhörnchen - - - -
Lemur Lemur [leˈmuːɐ̯] Lemuren - - - Herde
Meerkat Erdmännchen [ˈeːɐ̯tˌmɛnçən] Erdmännchen - - - Kolonie
Kangaroo Känguru [ˈkɛŋɡuʁu] Kängurus Buck Doe Joey Rudel
Koala Koala [koˈaːla] Koalas - - Joey -
Wombat Wombat, Beutelmaus [ˈbɔɪ̯tl̩maʊ̯s] Wombats, Beutelmäuse - - - -
Badger Dachs [daks] Dachse Rüde Dächsin, Fähe - Kolonie
Beaver Biber [ˈbiːbɐ] Biber Bock - - Kolonie
Otter Otter [ˈɔtɐ] Otter Rüde Fähe Welpe Rudel
Boar Wildschwein [ˈvɪltʃvaɪ̯n] Wildschweine Keiler Bache Frischling Rotte
Fox Fuchs [fʊks] Füchse Rüde Fähe Welpe Geheck

Sea animals in German

Sea animals in German.

There are plenty of fascinating and wonderful sea animals living in the depths of our oceans. Germans use the term Meerestiere [ˈmeːʁəsˌtiːʁə] to describe sea animals.

English nameGerman (singular)German (plural)MaleFemaleYoungCollective noun
WhaleWal [vaːl]Wale--KalbSchule
SharkHai [haɪ̯]Haie---Schule
SealionSeelöwe [ˈzeːˌløːvə]SeelöwenSeelöweSeelöwin-Gruppe
SealRobbe [ˈʁɔbə]Robben--HeulerGruppe
FishFisch [fɪʃ]Fische--JungfischeSchwarm
DolphinDelfin [dɛlˈfiːn]Delfine--KalbSchule
OctopusOktopus [ˈɔktopʊs]Oktopuse---Gruppe
Sea turtleMeeres-schildkröte [ˈmeːʁəsˌʃɪltkʁøːtə]Meereschildkröten---Gruppe
Jellyfish Qualle [ˈkva.lə] Quallen - - - -
Selch Seehund [ˈzeːˌhʊnt] Seehunde - - Heuler Rudel
Manatee Seekuh [ˈzeːˌkuː] Seekühe - - - -
Shrimp Garnele [ɡaʁˈneːlə] Garnelen - - - -
Seahorse Seepferdchen [ˈzeːˌpfeɐ̯tçən] Seepferdchen - - - -
Clam Muschel [ˈmʊʃəl] Muscheln - - - -
Mussel Miesmuschel [ˈmie̯smʊʃəl] Miesmuscheln - - - -
Squid Tintenfisch [ˈtɪntn̩ˌfɪʃ] Tintenfische - - - -
Crab Krebs [kʁeːps] Krebse - - - -
Lugworm Wattwurm [wɒtʋʏrm] Wattwürmer - - - -
Nautilus Meeresschnecke [ˈmeːʁəsˈʃnɛkə] Meeresschnecken - - - -
Starfish Seestern [ˈzeːʃtɛʁn] Seesterne - - - -
Sea Urchin Seeigel [ˈzeːʔiːɡl̩] Seeigel - - - -
Coral Koralle [koˈralə] Korallen - - - -
Sponge Schwamm [ʃvam] Schwämme - - - -
Eel Aal [aːl] Aale Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Cod Dorsch [dɔrʃ] Dorsche Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Flounder Flunder [ˈflʊndɐ] Flundern Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Herring Hering [ˈheːʁɪŋ] Heringe Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Pike Hecht [ɦɛxt] echte Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Salmon Lachs [laks] Lachse Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Mackerel Makrele [maˈkʁeːlə] Makrelen Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Mullet Meeräsche [mɪə(ɹ)ˈɛʃə] Meeräschen Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Trout Forelle [foˈrɛlə] Forellen Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Plaice Scholle [ˈʃɔlə] Schollen Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Turbot Steinbutt [ˈʃtaɪn.bʊt] Steinbutte Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Whiting Weißfisch [vaɪ̯sfiʃ] Weißfische Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schule; Schwarm
Walrus Walross [ˈvaːlˌʁɔs] Walrosse Bulle Kuh Kalb Herde
Lobster Hummer [ˈhʊmɐ] Hummer - - - -
Anemone Anemone [anəˈmoːnə] Anemonen - - - -

Jungle animals in German

Jungle animals in German.

Understanding how to say jungle animal names in German is usually pretty straightforward as the German and English terms for these exotic animals are usually somewhat similar.

However, take note of the different pronunciations, which is typical for German animal vocabulary.

English nameGerman (singular)German(plural)MaleFemaleYoungCollective noun
GorillaGorilla [ɡoˈʁɪla]Gorillas---Gruppe
SnakeSchlange [ˈʃlaŋə]Schlangen----
LeopardLeopard [leoˈpaʁt]LeopardenLeopardLeopardinWelpeRudel
LizardEidechse [ˈaɪ̯dɛksə]Eidechsen---Gruppe
CrocodileKrokodil [kʁokoˈdiːl]Krokodile---Gruppe
SlothFaultier [ˈfaʊ̯lˌtiːɐ̯]Faultiere---Gruppe
OrangutanOrang-Utan [ˈoːʁaŋˈʔuːtan]Orang-Utans---Gruppe
Chameleon Chamäleon [kaˈmɛːleˌɔn] Chameleons - - - -
Gecko Gecko [ˈɡɛko] Geckos - - - -
Iguana Leguan [ˈleːɡuaːn] Leguane - - - -
Pangolin Schuppentier [ˈʃʊpn̩ˌtiːɐ̯] Schuppentiere - - - -
Frog Frosch [fʁɔʃ] Frösche - - - -
Alligator Alligator [ˌaliˈɡaːtoːɐ̯] Alligatoren - - - -
Gavial Gavial [ɡaˈvi̯aːl] Gaviale - - - -
Gibbon Gibbon [ˈɡɪbɔn] Gibbons - - - Trupp
Lion Tamarin Löwenäffchen [ˈløːvn̩ɛfçən] Löwenäffchen - - - Trupp
Chimpanzee Schimpanse [ʃɪmˈpanzə] Schimpansen - - - Trupp
Baboon Pavian [ˈpaːviːaːn] Paviane - - - Trupp
Bonobo Bonobo [boˈnoːbo] Bonobos - - - Trupp
Bangka Slow Loris Plumplori [plʊmpˈloːʁi] Plumploris - - - -
Ocelot Ozelot [ˈɔt͡selɔt] Ozelote - - - -
Tapir Tapir [ˈtaːpiːɐ̯] Tapire - - - -
Toucan Tukan [tuˈkaːn] Tukane - - - -
Bird of Paradise Paradiesvogel [paʁaˈdiːsˌfoːɡl̩] Paradiesvögel - - - -
Hummingbird Kolibri [ˈkoːlibʁi] Kolibris - - - -
Lizard Echse [ˈɛksə] Echsen - - - -
Aardvark Erdferkel [ˈeːɐ̯tˌfɛʁkl̩] Erdferkel - - - -
Armadillo Gürteltier [ˈɡʏʁtl̩ˌtiːɐ̯] Gürteltiere - - - -
Jaguar Jaguar [ˈjaːɡuaːɐ̯] Jaguare - - - -
Panther Panther [ˈpantɐ] Panther - - - -
Racoon Waschbär [ˈvaʃˌbeːɐ̯] Waschbären - - - -
Coati Nasenbär [ˈnaːzn̩bɛːɐ̯] Nasenbären - - - -
Tarantula Vogelspinne [ˈfoːɡl̩ˌʃpɪnə] Vogelspinnen - - - -
Ant Ameise [ˈaːmaɪ̯zə] Ameisen Drohne Arbeiterin Larve Kolonie
Butterfly Schmetterling [ˈʃmɛtɐlɪŋ] Schmetterlinge - - Larve -
Dragonfly Libelle [liˈbɛlə] Libellen - - Larve -
Moth Motte [ˈmɔtə] Motten - - Larve -
Termite Termite [tɛʁˈmiːtə] Termiten - - Larve Kolonie

Pets in German

Pets in German.

Pets are often friends, companions and even considered part of the family. There is no way you should learn the German language without also learning the German words for some of our favorite pets.

EnglishGerman (singular)German (plural)MaleFemaleYoungCollective noun
DogHund [hʊnt]HundeHundHündinWelpeRudel
CatKatze [ˈkat͡sə]KatzenKaterKatzeJungkatzeRudel
Guinea pigMeer-schwein-chen [ˈmeːɐ̯ˌʃvaɪ̯nçən]Meer-schwein-chenBockSau-Gruppe
HamsterHamster [ˈhamstɐ]Hamster---Gruppe
BirdVogel [ˈfoːɡl̩]Vögel---Schar
Rabbit Kaninchen [kaˈniːnçən] Kaninchen Rammler Zibbe - -
Mouse Maus [maʊ̯s] Mäuse Mäuserich - - Sippe
Gerbil Rennmaus [ʁɛnmaʊ̯s] Rennmäuse Rennmäuserich - - Sippe
Rat Ratte [ˈʁatə] Ratten Böckchen - - Sippe
Goldfish Goldfisch [ˈɡɔltfɪʃ] Goldfische - - - Schwarm
Koi Koi [kɔɪ̯] Kois Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schwarm
Guppy Guppy [ˈɡʊpi] Guppys Milchner Rogner Fischlaich Schwarm
Genet Ginsterkatze [ˈɡɪnstɐkat͡sə] Ginsterkatzen - - - -
Hedgehog Igel [ˈiːɡl̩] Igel - - - -
Budgie Wellensittich [ˈvɛlənˌzɪtɪçə] Wellensittiche Männchen, Hahn Weibchen, Henne Küken -
Cockatiel Nymphensittich [ˈnʏmfn̩ˌsɪtɪç] Nymphensittiche Männchen, Hahn Weibchen, Henne Küken -
Canary Bird Kanarienvogel [kaˈnaːʁiənˌfoːɡl] Kanarienvögel - - Küken -
Parrot Papagei [ˌpapaˈɡaɪ̯ Papageien - - Küken -
Chinese Owl Chinesisches Mövchen [çiˈneːzɪʃəs [ˈmøːvçən] Chinesische Mövchen - - Küken -
Finch Fink [fɪŋk] Finken - - Küken -
Swan Schwan [ʃvaːn] Schwäne - Schwänin Küken -
Partridge Rebhuhn [ˈʁeːpˌhuːn] Rebhühner Hahn Henne Küken Flug, Kette
Pigeon Taube [ˈtaʊ̯bə] Tauben Tauber, Tauberich Täubin Küken Flug, Schwarm
Owl Eule [ˈɔɪ̯lə] Eulen - - Küken Parlament
Peacock Pfau [p͡faʊ̯] Pfauen Hahn Henne Küken -
Lark Lerche [ˈlɛʁçə] Lerchen - - Küken Trupp
Falcon Falke [ˈfalkə] Falken - - Küken Schwarm
Chinchilla Chinchilla [t͡ʃɪnˈt͡ʃɪla] Chinchillas Böckchen - - Herde
Opossum Opossum, Beutelratte [ˈbɔɪ̯tlˈʁatə] Opossums, Beutelratten - - - -
Newt Molch [mɔlç] Molche - - - -
Ferret Frettchen [ˈfʁɛtçən] Frettchen Rüde Fähe Welpe -
Weasel Wiesel [ˈwiːzəl] Wiesel - - - -
Fennec Wüstenfuchs [ˈvyːstn̩ˌfʊks] Wüstenfüchse Rüde Fähe Welpen Rudel
Bush Baby Bushbaby [bʊʃˈbeɪbiː] Bushbabys - - - -
Cricket Grille [ˈɡʁɪlə] Grillen - - - -

You may notice some terms missing, marked with hyphens. Indeed, the German language does not have specific words for some of these variants. Instead, you can simply use männlich/weiblich (male/female) to specify the gender.

As an example: Ein männlicher Hamster. The same is true for young animals. Simply say: Ein junger Vogel. Keep in mind that you will have to make sure to use the correct grammar here as the animals use various articles (der/die/das).

Animal songs in German

Music is a great tool to learn a language. And if the music comes with some additional German animal vocabulary - even better!

The video Tiere für Kinder - Tierstimmen für Kleinkinder might be exactly what you need to learn the pronunciation of the various animals introduced in this article. Even though it’s technically not much of a song and instead more of a learning video, it does a great job combining high-quality videos of animals, on-screen lyrics and clear pronunciations.

If you want a more musical approach and prefer animal songs in German, the video Die Tiere auf Deutsch lernen might be just what you are after. The video introduces not only the names of animals but also the various vocabulary for animals of the male and female gender. The video is very comprehensive, and we recommend it for people who already have a basic grasp of the related vocabulary.

Funny animal-related sayings, quotes, phrases

Germans have quite a few funny animal-related phrases. Germans will love you for knowing these phrases in their language, especially if you aren’t as fluent yet and you say them at just the right moment! Learning them is an excellent idea if you want to have some fun.

Animal phrases are used all the time, but they are especially common in emotional moments. Most of the phrases are based on real characteristics that are common for the associated animal. For example, monkeys are very loud and seem to argue a lot which is why Germans often use the term Affentheater for people that are arguing loudly.

Das ist ein riesiger Saustall.This is a huge pigsty.This place is a total mess.
Ich habe einen Bärenhunger.I am hungry like a bear.I am really hungry.
Ich habe mich total zum Affen gemacht.I have made a monkey out of myself.I have completely embarrassed myself.
Ein Elefant im Porzelanladen.An elephant in a porcelain shop.Someone who is very clumsy and easily breaks things.
Du bist echt ein Esel.You are a donkey.You are a real fool.
Die Katze im Sack kaufen.Buying the cat in the bag.Buying something you don’t know the condition of.
Das Taxi fährt wie eine gesenkte Sau.The taxi is driving like a sow.The taxi drives way too fast.

Even though some of these phrases are not exceptionally polite and are generally only used in informal conversations, you will definitely cause some laughter by using them!

German animal vocabulary is fun to learn and truly rewarding

Learning the animals in German is one of the easiest (and most fun) aspects of German vocabulary. Whether it’s farm animals, zoo animals, sea animals or jungle animals in German - most of the terms are similar to their English counterparts, making them very easy to remember.

To learn the pronunciation of the terms (different to English despite similarities in spelling), you should make use of the videos recommended in this article. Hearing how native-fluent speakers pronounce words is an integral part of learning any language.

Make sure to keep practicing your newfound language skills so whether you want to travel to more German-speaking places, or gain confidence doing business with German-speaking colleagues, you’ll feel empowered to do precisely that.

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