Names of Animals in French

Valorie Delp
It's good to know animal vocabulary.

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, the lists below will give you more animals than you can remember!

Insects and Other Creepy Crawlies

Here are a few "animals" that you'll find crawling around on the ground. While not everything on this list is a true animal, it's vocabulary that you will have to learn eventually. There are many idiomatic expressions that include references to both la fourmi and le cafard.

  • Ant - la fourmi (lah foor-mee)
  • Bee - l'abeille (lah-bay-uh)
  • Butterfly - le papillon (luh pah-pee-yohn)
  • Cockroach - le cafard (luh cah-fahr)
  • Snail - l'escargot (les-car-go)
  • Spider - l'araignée (lah-rayn-yay)

On the Farm

La ferme is a particularly popular learning theme with preschool.

  • Chicken - le poulet (luh poo-lay)
  • Cow - la vache (lah vahsh)
  • Donkey - l'âne (lahn)
  • Duck - le canard (luh cah-nar)
  • Goat - la chèvre lah sheh-vruh)
  • Goose - l'oie (lwah)
  • Horse - le cheval (luh shuh-vall)
  • Mouse - la souris (lah soo-ree)
  • Mule - la mule (lah mool)
  • Pig - le cochon (luh coo-shohn)
  • Sheep - le mouton (luh moo-tohn)

Pets

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

  • Cat - le chat (luh shah)
  • Dog - le chien (luh shee-ehn)
  • Ferrett - 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)
  • Hamster - le hamster (luh am-stair)
  • Llama - le lama (luh lah-mah)
  • Parrot - le perroquet (luh pair-rho-kay)

Woodland Animals

Another popular theme is studying the forest.

  • 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)
  • 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-i) *Note - the 'i' is pronounced long
  • Wolf - le loup (luh loo)

Reptiles

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

  • 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)

At the Zoo

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

  • 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 (le ki-yoht) *Note the 'i' is long as in 'kite.'
  • Elephant - l'éléphant (lay-lay-fohn)
  • Gazelle - la gazelle (lah-gah-zell)
  • Girafe - la girafe (lah-gee-rahff) *Note the 'g' is soft as in the second 'g' in 'garage.'
  • Gorilla - la gorille (luh gour-ee)
  • Hippopotamus - l'hippopotame (lee-po-po-tahm) *Note the 'o' is long as in 'cope.'
  • Jaguar - le jaguar (luh jhah-gwar)
  • Kangaroo - le kangourou (kahn-goo-roo)
  • Leopard - le léopard (luh lay-oh-par)
  • Lion - le lion (luh lee-ohn)
  • Monkey - le singe (le sange)
  • Ostrich - l'autruche (lo-troosh)
  • Panda - le panda (luh pahn-dah)
  • Panther - le panthère (lah pahn-tair)
  • Rhinoceros - le rhinocéros (luh-ree-no-sair-os) *Note the 'o' is long as in 'cope.'
  • Tiger - le tigre (luh tee-gruh)
  • Zebra - le zèbre (luh-zeh-bruh)

Ocean Animals

While you're studying things that are at the ocean, make sure and make your bulletin boards and worksheets bilingual.

  • 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.'
  • Jellyfish - la méduse (lah-may-dooz)
  • Lobster - le homard (luh-oh-mar)
  • Manatee - le lamantin (luh-lah-mah-tahn)
  • Pelican - le pélican (luh-pay-lee-kahn)
  • Penguin - le pingouin (luh-pehn-gwahn)
  • Sea Lion - l'otarie (loh-tah-ree)
  • Shark - le requin (luh-ri-kahn)
  • 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