Chinese Animal Words

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Everybody loves animals right?  How many of us keep them as pets, spend the day at the zoo or visiting a farm?  My kids love animals so the zoo and little farms in our area are places that we enjoy spending our time at as well.

We have a couple pets in our home, sometimes I think we are actually a mini-zoo! From our bulldog, to a cat, two lizards and some tadpoles that we are raising (for science right?), animals are a big part of our family.

chinese animal words, chinese animals, favorite chinese pets, chinese pets

My oldest was curious what kinds of pets are kept in homes in China, so we went to work to see what animals the Chinese people like to have as pets. It was during this research time that we learned that some people in China really do eat dog meat. We also learned that dogs are the most popular (and pampered) pets to keep in China. They have designer clothing and take them for spa treatments; they even dye their fur unnatural colors.

Cats have also been pets in families in China for a long time, but there aren’t any spa treatments for kitties.

Fish are traditionally regarded as lucky. They are raised in courtyards and are kept as symbols of good fortune. Typically they are kept in basic household aquariums now and many people enjoy watching the fish because of their calming ability.

How about keeping insects as pets? My 5 year old son thought this was pretty cool. They require very little upkeep and there is a great variety, but crickets –especially Chinese singing crickets — are the most common to keep as pets. In traditional Beijing and even today, people of all classes are known to enjoy watching cricket fighting. My boys are all over the idea of cricket fighting! We have two lizards that eat crickets, but to my boys disappointment our crickets are just not skilled fighters.

There are more than a dozen types of birds raised as pets in Beijing, including the thrush, lark, oriole, jade birds, parrots, starlings, and pigeons. I know I love to hear the birds outside singing in the early morning. Thus going for a walk with birds in the first thing in the morning is a common activity for bird-lovers. You can even see people in the park taking one or two birdcages in each hand leisurely and carefree for an early stroll.

My children decided to pick a few of their favorite animals to learn (and help teach you) this month – in Chinese!

Animal                                                                         Pet

Animal Pet

Butterfly                                                                       Rabbit        

Butterfly Rabbit

Horse                                            Tiger

Horse Tiger1

Bird                                              Dog

Bird Dog

Snake                                                Dragon





To further help with the pronunciation of each of these, is Sensei Tyler who is embarking on his own online classes for kids, his brother and sister, as his current students.  I hope you enjoy!

What are your family’s favorite animals? Do you have any family pets?

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