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Learning the names of animals in a new language can be a fascinating and enjoyable way to enhance your vocabulary. It provides not only a peek into the cultural nuances of how animals are perceived and talked about in different societies but also serves as a practical tool for everyday conversation. If you’re embarking on the journey of learning German, acquiring the names of animals is a great step. Let’s delve into this topic with simplicity and clarity.

Germany is known for its lush forests, diverse wildlife, and a deep appreciation for nature. If you’re planning to visit Germany or just aiming to polish your German language skills, familiarizing yourself with animal names is surprisingly useful. Whether you’re chatting about pets at home, discussing farm animals, or exploring Germany’s vast wilderness, knowing how to refer to the animals around you can enrich your experiences. Plus, understanding animal-related idioms can give you an edge in sounding like a native speaker.


In Germany, pets are more than just animals – they are considered a part of the family. Below is a table with common pet names in German, which will be useful if you’re visiting a German household or simply want to expand your vocabulary.

English German
Cat Katze
Dog Hund
Hamster Hamster
Rabbit Kaninchen
Mouse Maus
Rat Ratte
Guinea pig Meerschweinchen
Goldfish Goldfisch
Parrot Papagei
Turtle Schildkröte
Lizard Eidechse
Ferret Frettchen

Farm Animals

The rural landscapes of Germany are dotted with farms, making it essential to know the names of farm animals. Here is an extended list of farm animals in German.

English German
Cow Kuh
Pig Schwein
Sheep Schaf
Goat Ziege
Horse Pferd
Chicken Huhn
Hen Henne
Rooster Hahn
Goose Gans
Duck Ente
Turkey Truthahn
Donkey Esel
Ox Ochse
Bull Bulle

In the Wild Animals

Germany’s forests are home to an array of wildlife. Here are some of the animals you might encounter, with their German names included.

English German
Bear Bär
Wolf Wolf
Deer Hirsch
Hare Hase
Fox Fuchs
Hedgehog Igel
Squirrel Eichhörnchen
Boar Eber
Groundhog Murmeltier
Lion Löwe
Tiger Tiger
Jaguar Jaguar
Panther Panther
Elephant Elefant
Giraffe Giraffe
Monkey Affe
Gorilla Gorilla
Kangaroo Känguru
Koala Koala
Panda Panda
Sloth Faultier
Seal Robbe
Penguin Pinguin
Polar bear Eisbär
Walrus Walross

Marine Animals

Though much of Germany is landlocked, its northern seas are bustling with marine life. Here are some aquatic creatures you might hear about or see.

English German
Fish Fisch
Shark Hai
Dolphin Delfin
Whale Wal
Sea lion Seelöwe
Jellyfish Qualle
Octopus Tintenfisch
Seahorse Seepferdchen
Urchin Seeigel
Starfish Seestern
Mussel Muschel
Sea cucumber Seegurke

Bugs and Insects

Whether you’re in the city or the countryside, you’ll encounter various insects. Knowing their names in German can be surprisingly useful.

English German
Bee Biene
Wasp Wespe
Mosquito Moskito
Fly Fliege
Spider Spinne
Grasshopper Heuschrecke
Cockroach Kakerlake
Butterfly Schmetterling
Ant Ameise
Moth Motte
Snail Schnecke
Slug Nacktschnecke


The skies and woods of Germany are filled with a diverse range of birds. Below is a list of common bird names in both English and German.

English German
Seagull Möwe
Eagle Adler
Sparrow Spatz
Pigeon Taube
Owl Eule
Swallow Schwalbe
Raven Rabe
Peacock Pfau
Duck Ente
Swan Schwan
Falcon Falke
Parakeet Wellensittich

Animal Idioms

German is rich with idioms that feature animals, reflecting the importance of nature in the language. Here are a few expressions that can make your German sound more colorful and authentic.

English Idiom German Idiom Literal Translation
To kill two birds with one stone Zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen To slap two flies with one swatter
To have a frog in one’s throat Einen Frosch im Hals haben To have a frog in the throat
When pigs fly Wenn Schweine fliegen When pigs fly
To be a lone wolf Ein Einzelgänger sein To be a single-goer
Like a fish out of water Wie ein Fisch auf dem Trockenen Like a fish on the dry
To let the cat out of the bag Die Katze aus dem Sack lassen To let the cat out of the bag

Incorporating these animal names and idioms into your German studies can make learning the language more engaging and fun. As you expand your vocabulary, you also gain a deeper appreciation for German culture and its connection to the natural world.


What is the funny animal name in German?

A funny animal name in German is “Faultier,” which means “sloth.” The literal translation of “Faultier” is “lazy animal,” which people often find amusing given the sloth’s slow-moving nature.

What is a cute German cat name?

A popular and cute German name for a cat is “Mieze,” which is a colloquial term for a kitty. It’s akin to calling a cat “Kitty” in English.

What wild animals can I encounter in German national parks?

In German national parks, you can encounter a variety of wild animals such as deer, wild boars, foxes, lynxes, and various species of birds. Some parks in the Alpine regions are also home to marmots and chamois.

Are there any endangered insect species in Germany?

Yes, there are endangered insect species in Germany, such as the “Dunkler Wiesenknopf-Ameisenbläuling,” a type of butterfly known as the Dusky Large Blue, which is known for its selective habitat requirements and is under threat due to habitat loss.

Are pets taxed in Germany?

Yes, there is a pet tax in Germany known as “Hundesteuer” for dogs. It is a local tax and the amount varies depending on the municipality. Other pets, such as cats, are typically not subject to this tax.


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