Names of Animals in French

Valorie Delp
Contributor: Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Chipmunk - le tamia

Finding names of animals in French is not particularly difficult if you know where to look! Learning animal names is generally taught when the class is working on themes like "the farm" or something similar.

Names of Animals in French

Whether you are looking for the names of animals in French for a project for school or just to complete a theme that you are studying in French, these lists will give you more animals than you can remember!

Insects (Les Insectes)

Here are a few animals that you'll find crawling around on the ground. There are many idiomatic expressions that include references to both la fourmi (ant) and le cafard (cockroach).

  • Bee - l'abeille
    Ant - la fourmi (lah foor-mee)
  • Bee - l'abeille (lah bay-uh)
  • Beetle - le scarabée (luh skah-rah-bay)
  • Butterfly - le papillon (luh pah-pee-yohn)
  • Caterpillar - la chenille (lah shuh-nee-uh)
  • Cockroach - le cafard (luh cah-fahr)
  • Cricket - le criquet (luh kree-kay)
  • Firefly - la luciole (lah lu-see-yol)
  • Grasshopper - la sauterelle (lah so-trel)
  • Ladybug - la coccinelle (lah ko-see-nel)
  • Mosquito - la moustique (lah moo-steek)
  • Praying mantis - la mante religieuse (lah mahnt ray-lee-juhs)
  • Snail - l'escargot (les-car-go)
  • Spider - l'araignée (lah-rayn-yay)
  • Worm - le ver (luh vehr)

Farm Animals (Les Animaux de la Ferme)

La ferme is a particularly popular learning theme with preschool children.

  • Cow - la vache
    Bull - le taureau (luh tuh-ruh)
  • Cattle - les bovins (lay bo-vahn)
  • Chicken - le poulet (luh poo-lay)
  • Cow - la vache (lah vahsh)
  • Donkey - l'âne (lahn)
  • Duck - le canard (luh cah-nar)
  • Duckling - le caneton (luh cah-nay-toh)
  • Goat - la chèvre (lah sheh-vruh)
  • Goose - l'oie (lwah)
  • Hen - la poule (lah pool)
  • Horse - le cheval (luh shuh-vall)
  • Lamb - l'agneau (lah-nee-ho)
  • Llama - le lama (luh lah-mah)
  • Mouse - la souris (lah soo-ree)
  • Mule - la mule (lah mool)
  • Ostrich - l'autruche (lo-trush)
  • Pig - le cochon (luh coo-shohn)
  • Pony - le poney (luh po-nay)
  • Reindeer - la renne (lah ren)
  • Rooster - le coq (luh cock)
  • Sheep - le mouton (luh moo-tohn)
  • Water buffalo - les buffles d'eau (lay boof-luh-doh)

Pets (Les Animaux Domestique)

Teach your students the names for their pets so that they can talk about their entire family.

  • Guinea pig - la cochon d'Inde
    Cat - le chat (luh shah)
  • Dog - le chien (luh shee-ehn)
  • Ferret - le furet (luh fyoo-ray)
  • Goldfish - le poisson rouge (luh pwah-ssohn-rooge) * The "g" is soft as in the second "g" in "garage."
  • Gerbil - la gerbille (lah jhair-bee-yuh)
  • Guinea pig - le cochon d'Inde (luh coo-shohn dande)
  • Hamster - le hamster (luh am-stair)
  • Kitten - le chaton (luh shah-tohn)
  • Parakeet - la perruche (lah pear-ush)
  • Parrot - le perroquet (luh pair-rho-kay)
  • Puppy - le choit (luh shee-oo)

Woodland Animals (Les Animaux Forestiers)

Another popular theme is studying the forest and the animals who live there.

  • Deer - le cerf
    Antelope - l'antilope (lahn-tee-lohp)
  • Badger - le blaireau (luh blair-o)
  • Bat - la chauve-souris (lah shove-soo-ree)
  • Bear - l'ours (loors)
  • Beaver - le castor (luh cah-stohr)
  • Bird - l'oiseau (lwah-so)
  • Birds - les oiseaux (lays-wah-so)
  • Chipmunk - le tamia (luh tam-yah)
  • Deer - le cerf (luh sairf)
  • Elk - l'élan (lay-lahn)
  • Fox - le renard (luh ruh-nahrd)
  • Moose - l'orignal (lor-ee-nyahl)
  • Otter - la loutre (lah loo-truh)
  • Owl - le hibou (luh ee-boo)
  • Porcupine - le porc-épic (luh pork-ay-peek)
  • Rabbit - le lapin (luh lah-pahn)
  • Raccoon - le raton-laveur (luh rah-tohn-lah-vuhr)
  • Ram - le bélier (luh bay-lee-ay)
  • Squirrel - l'écureil (lay-cure-eye)
  • Wolf - le loup (luh loo)

Reptiles (Les Reptiles)

You can incorporate a study on reptiles while you're also studying Francophone countries where some of these more exotic creatures live.

  • Crocodile - le crocodile
    Alligator - l'alligator (lah-lee-gah-tohr)
  • Crocodile - le crocodile (luh kroe-koe-deel)
  • Frog - la grenouille (lah grun-wee-yuh)
  • Lizard - le lézard (luh lay-sahr)
  • Snake - le serpent (luh sair-pont)
  • Toad - le crapaud (luh crah-poe)
  • Turtle - la tortue (lah tor-too)

Zoo Animals (Les Animaux au Zoo)

Who doesn't love a trip to the zoo? Make a field trip extra productive with these great vocabulary words.

  • Monkey - le singe
    Anteater - le fourmilier (lu-foor-mee-lee-ay)
  • Ape - le singe (luh sehnge) * Note the "g" is soft like the second "g" in "garage."
  • Baboon - le babouin (luh bah-bwehn)
  • Buffalo - le buffle (luh boo-fluh)
  • Camel - le chameau (luh shah-moe)
  • Cheetah - le guépard (luh gay-par)
  • Coyote - le coyote (luh kee-yoht)
  • Elephant - l'éléphant (lay lay-fohn)
  • Gazelle - la gazelle (lah gah-zell)
  • Giraffe - la girafe (lah gee-rahff) * Note the "g" is soft as in the second "g" in "garage."
  • Gorilla - la gorille (lah gour-ee)
  • Hippopotamus - l'hippopotame (lee-poh-poh-tahm)
  • Jaguar - le jaguar (luh jhah-gwar)
  • Kangaroo - le kangourou (luh kahn-goo-roo)
  • Leopard - le léopard (luh lay-oh-par)
  • Lion - le lion (luh lee-ohn)
  • Monkey - le singe (luh sanj)
  • Ostrich - l'autruche (lo-troosh)
  • Panda - le panda (luh pahn-dah)
  • Panther - le panthère (lah pahn-tair)
  • Rhinoceros - le rhinocéros (luh-ree-noh-sair-os)
  • Tiger - le tigre (luh tee-gruh)
  • Zebra - le zèbre (luh zeh-bruh)

Ocean Animals (Les Animaux Océaniques)

While you're studying things that are in or near the ocean, make sure to create bulletin boards and worksheets in French and English.

  • Dolphin - le dauphin
    Clam - la palourde (lah pah-loord)
  • Crab - le crabe (luh crahb)
  • Dolphin - le dauphin (luh do-fahn)
  • Eel - l'anguille (lohn-gee-uh) *Note the "g" is hard as in the first "g" in "garage."
  • Hermit crab - l'ermite (lehr-meet)
  • Jellyfish - la méduse (lah may-dooz)
  • Lobster - le homard (luh oh-mar)
  • Manatee - le lamantin (luh lah-mah-tahn)
  • Oyster - l'huître (luh-hwee-truh)
  • Pelican - le pélican (luh pay-lee-kahn)
  • Penguin - le pingouin (luh pehn-gwahn)
  • Polar bear - l'ours blanc (loors blah-unk)
  • Seahorse - l'hippocampe (leep-oh-kahmp)
  • Seal - le phoque (luh fawk)
  • Sea Lion - l'otarie (loh-tah-ree)
  • Shark - le requin (luh ri-kahn)
  • Starfish - l'étoile de mer (lay-twahl-duh-mare)
  • Stingray - la pastenague (lah pahs-ten-ah-gay)
  • Squid - le calamar (luh kal-ah-mahr)
  • Walrus - le morse (luh mohrs)
  • Whale - la baleine (lah bell-ehn)

Practice Makes Perfect

The more you study this list and practice pronunciation, the better you'll be able to communicate about various types of animals in the French language.

Names of Animals in French