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Animal Vocabulary in Vietnamese Posted by on Apr 26, 2021 in Culture, Vocabulary

Photo taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

We have all learned vocabulary about animals at an early age. Most toddlers become attached to some kind of stuffed animal toy as their “buddy” on their beds, or have an actual pet to play with. Trips to the zoo is often on the list for children’s school field trips and family vacation itineraries. We all love animals to different degrees, right? Let’s get familiarized with some vocabulary about animals.

COMMON FARM ANIMALS

Photo taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

Vietnamese   English
Chó Dog
Mèo Cat
Chicken
tây Turkey
Vịt Duck
Heo Pig
Thỏ Rabbit
Chuột Mouse
Goat
Cow
Trâu Buffalo
Ngựa Horse
Lừa Donkey
Cừu Sheep

 

 

COMMON AQUATIC ANIMALS

Photo taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

Vietnamese    English
Fish
Tôm Prawn
Tôm hùm Lobster
Cua Crab
Mực Squid
Bạch tuộc Octopus
Sứa Jellyfish
Hải Quỳ Sea Anemone
Nghêu Clam
Sò điệp Scallop
Bào ngư Abalone
Hàu Oyster
Lươn Eel
Hải mã Seahorse
Sao biển Starfish
Rùa Turtle
Cá sấu Alligator

COMMON WILD ANIMALS

Photo taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

Vietnamese English
Gấu Bear
Gấu trúc Panda
Hổ Tiger
Sử tử Lion
Hươu cao cổ Giraffe
Cáo Fox
Sói Wolf
Beo/Báo Leopard
Voi Elephant
Khỉ Monkey
Tinh tinh Chimpanzee
Hippopotamus
Ngựa vằn Zebra
Khủng long Dinosaur

COMMON BIRDS

Photo taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

Vietnamese English
Chim Bird
Sơn ca/Họa mi Nightingale
Quạ Crow/Raven
Bồ câu Dove
Chim sẻ Sparrow
Đại bàng Eagle
Diều hâu Hawk
Owl
Hải âu Seagull
Thiên nga Swan
bói cá Kingfisher
Hồng hạc Flamingo
Gõ kiến/Gõ mõ Woodpecker
Hoàng Yến Canary
Sếu Crane
Cúc cu Cuckoo

EXPRESSIONS RELATED TO ANIMALS

  • Ăn như mèo: Literally translated to “eat like a cat”. Figuratively, it means eat so little.
  • Ăn như hổ: Literally translated to “eat like a tiger”. Figuratively, it means eat a big portion.
  • Ăn như heo: Literally translated to “eat like a pig”. Figuratively, it means eat a lot of everything indiscriminately.
  • Ngu như bò: Literally translated to “stupid like a cow”. Figuratively, it means not intelligent
  • Nhát như thỏ: Literally translated to “being afraid like a rabbit”. Figuratively, it means easily scared of anything.
  • Gan như hùm: Literally translated to “brave like a tiger”. Figuratively, it means brave and daring.
  • Chậm như rùa: Literally translated to “slow like a turtle”. Figuratively, it means very slow.
  • Làm như trâu: Literally translated to “work like a buffalo”. Figuratively, it means workaholic, hardworking.
  • Ngang như cua: Literally translated to “cross like a crab”. Figuratively, it means stubbornly unreasonable, argumentative.
  • Câm như hến: Literally translated to “mute like a clam”. Figuratively, it means to hardly open the mouth and say anything.
  • Giọng như vịt đực: Literally translated to “sound like a duck”. Figuratively, it means hoarse voice, or not a clear voice.
  • Nói như sáo: Literally translated to “speak like a blackbird”. Figuratively, it means talkative.
  • Dai như đỉa: Literally translated to “tough as leeches”. Figuratively, it means persistent.
  • Rách như tổ đỉa: Literally translated to “torn like the leech’s nest. Figuratively, it means very poor.

Follow me to the next blog, I’ll talk about the Vietnamese sacred animals.

Photo taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

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