第156課: Plants & Animals

We humans share the planet with many kinds of living things. We all probably know the names of hundreds in our native languages, but what about Japanese? This lesson does not introduce all things that lives, but you will finish knowing the names of several handfuls. 

Biology in Context

Although all plant and animal names have 漢字 associated with them for the most part, if the spelling is not as common than the カタカナ spelling, it will be left in parentheses for reference.  

1. 東京の葛西かっさい臨海りんかい水族すいぞくえんおとずれた人たちはいきおいよくれで泳ぐマグロ(鮪)の姿すがたを楽しんでいました。
The people who visited the Kassai Marine Aquarium in Tokyo were enjoying seeing the schools of tuna swimming energetically. 

2. 野生やせいくまが山から下りてきた。
   The wild bear came down from the mountain.

3. バラ(薔薇)の咲く楽園らくえんへようこそ。
    Welcome to paradise where roses blossom. 

4. オオカミ(狼)がいないと、ウサギ(兎)が(ほろ)びてしまう。
    If there were no wolves, rabbits would die out.

5. 道の真ん中(まんなか)(へび)()んだらどうなりますか?
    What happens when you step/stomp on a snake in the middle of the road?

6. カエル(蛙)を()いたことがあります。
    I have run over a frog before.

7. その畑には多くの樹木(じゅもく)(なら)んでいました。
    Many trees were lined up by each other in the field. 

8. 近い将来(しょうらい)、海の絶滅(ぜつめつ)状態(じょうたい)になるかもしれない。
    In the near future, the fishes of the sea may become extinct. 

Reading Note: 魚 may be read as さかな or うお. The first is typically more common, but the latter is required in certain expressions. The latter is actually from the original word for fish.    

9. に乗ったことがありますか?
   Have you ever ridden a horse?

10. 庭にを植えたいです。
    I want to plant bamboo in my yard.  

11. クモ(蜘蛛)の巣は飛んでいる(つか)まえる(わな)です。
      A spider web is a trap to catch flying insects

12. 引き上げる度に、10~20匹ずつ(あみ)カニが付いてくる。
     Each time I lift the net up, 10-20 crabs are in it. 

13. 家の(にわ)果樹(かじゅ)(さくら)植え(うえ)てはいけない。
      You can't plant fruit trees or cherry blossom trees in your yard.

14. 数頭すうとうがそこのさくを壊してげてしまった。
   Several cows broke that fence over there and escaped. 

15. カメ(亀)に()まれた時はどうすればよいでしょうか。
     What should you do when you're bitten by a turtle?

     I can't sleep even if I count sheep

17. 日本には昔からウサギ(兎)が月に()むという説話(せつわ)(つた)わっている。
There is a legend in Japan that has been told since ancient times that rabbits live on the moon. 

18. さるから落ちてもだが、議員ぎいん選挙せんきょで落ちれば、ただの人なのだ。
A monkey is still a monkey when he falls out of a tree, but an assemblyman is simply a regular man when he falls out of the election. 

19. あたしはトラ(虎)になる夢を見るですにゃあ。
     I'm a cat who dreams of becoming a tiger

20. キツネ(狐)をいたい。
      I want to raise a fox.

21. 現在、上野動物園にはぞう何頭なんとういるか知っていますか。
     How many elephants are there currently at Ueno Zoo? 

22. たまにを手で殺した時に付着ふちゃくするけど、あれって僕らの血なの?それともの血なの?誰か教えてください!
Occasionally blood gets on me when I kill a mosquito with my hand, but is that our blood? Or, is it the mosquito's blood? Someone, please tell me. 

23. フグ(河豚)を食べる国は日本以外いがいにはどれくらいありますか?
     How many other countries are there aside from Japan where people eat puffer fish?

24. 小さいトカゲ(蜥蜴)が部屋のかべにくっついていた。
      There's a small lizard stuck on the wall inside the room. 

25. 妊娠中にんしんちゅうイカ(烏賊)やタコ(蛸)を食べてはいけない。
     You mustn't eat squid or octopus while pregnant. 

26. キリン(麒麟)に乗れる場所を探しています。
     I'm looking for a place where I can ride a giraffe

27. ライオンシマウマ(縞馬)を食べますよね。
     Lions eat zebras, right?

28. パンダは中国にしかいない。
      Pandas are only in China.

29. シカ(鹿)が多すぎる。
     There are too many deer.

30. アリ(蟻)を殺すと雨が降る。
      When you kill an ant, it rains. 

31. ペンギンはなぜ南半球みなみはんきゅうにしかいないの?
     Why are penguins only in the Southern Hemisphere? 

32. 祖母そぼかもにくを使ったレシピを教えてもらいました。
      I had my grandmother teach me a recipe that uses duck meat. 

Note: A domesticated duck is called an アヒル.

33. ちょう寿命じゅみょうは長くても数ヶ月すうかげつ程度ていどです。
     The lifespan of a butterfly, at the most, is around several months. 

Variation Note: Butterfly may also be チョウチョウ(蝶々)or 蝶ちょ.

34. うなぎ(鰻)りのえさは何がいい?
     What sort of bait is best for fishing eels

35. 本物のクジラを見てみたい。
      I want to see an actual whale.  

36. タヌキ(狸)は日本特有とくゆうの動物です。
     The tanuki (raccoon dogs) is a unique animal to Japan. 

37. 日本ではかつてネズミわな仕掛しかけるとき、あぶらげを餌としてもちいるのが一般的いっぱんてきだった。     
In the past in Japan, it was commonplace to use deep-fried tofu as bait to trap mice.

38. サメ(鮫)は滅多めった人間にんげんおそわない。
     Sharks seldom eat people.

Usage Note: Some people say フカ(鱶) for shark. This is predominantly a West Japanese word for it, and it traditionally refers to a large shark. Most sharks are large, so it might as well be the general word for shark.

39. ハチ(蜂)やスズメバチ(雀蜂)に気をつけましょう!
      Be careful of bees and wasps

Usage Note: 蜂 is a general term for any kind of bee or wasp. ミツバチ refers to what Americans think of as being bees. アシナガバチ and スズメバチ both would be called wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets by English speakers, but the former has long legs as the name suggests. The Japanese equivalent of a bumblebee is a クマバチ. Some speakers call this as クマンバチ. Both words may also refer to a オオスズメバチ. The American version is マルハナバチ.The オオスズメバチ (giant hornet) is extremely dangerous. キイロスズメバチ may be called カメバチ (瓶蜂), トックリバチ (徳利蜂), or アカバチ (赤蜂). クロスズメバチ and シダクロスズメバチ, which would specifically be called wasps by most English speakers, are wasps known for building their nests in the ground. Thus, some Japanese speakers call them ジバチ (地蜂), ドバチ (土蜂), ハイバチ (灰蜂), ヘボ (used in the 東海地方), or スガレ・スガリ (used throughout 東北). Special attention is given to ハチ because all aside from bumblebees are especially dangerous in Japan.