10+ Easy Translations For Animals In Cantonese

Ling Learn Languages
7 min readDec 27, 2021


Original blog post: https://ling-app.com/yue/animals-in-cantonese/

Are you an animal lover? Well, you’re in the right place! In today’s post, we will learn about the translations for the names of animals in Cantonese 動物 (Dung6 Mat6). More importantly, we will dive deep into some of the interesting information relating to the common animals found in Asia.

Hong Kongers have many things to be proud of, and one of them is their rich biodiversity. If you are in Hong Kong, pay a visit to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens to see how blessed the locals are! As we all know, animals have always been considered treasures by many countries. Back in the day, even our ancestors deem that they are holy and that they carry symbolism. Due to this, there are some who have domesticated while others are allowed to roam free.

So, if you are interested to learn more about them and the Cantonese language, then this post is perfect for you. If you’re still a beginner at reading and understanding Cantonese Chinese characters, don’t worry because we will provide here the English translations and pronunciation guides.

Naming Common Animals In Cantonese

One of the common words that children learn when they begin to study is naming the animals. In fact, children and also adults love to go to the zoo. We have learned that animals have different classes, namely mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians. There are also those non-vertebrate animals that do not have backbones.

One of the new words that you learn about animals in Cantonese is how to say the word “animals.” Basically, the translation for this is 動物 Dung6 Mat6, but you might also encounter the term 动物 Dòngwù, which is a Mandarin term. Both of these terms are acceptable and are used by the locals using the Cantonese language. Now that you have an idea of that, let’s now learn about the translations for the 10 most common animals.

Dog — 狗 (Gau2)

Let’s start with the man’s best friend, who is the dog 狗 (Gau2). If you’re a dog lover, you are surely wondering what it is like to live with dogs in Hong Kong. Dogs are one of the common pets that people have. In fact, when deciding to have a dog, it’s good to adopt one, not buy one. But living with dogs in Hong Kong can be challenging.

For starters, we have small apartments. If you have been following Cantonese blogs for a while now, you already know that houses in Hong Kong are really expensive, so they prefer to rent small apartments that are not too ideal for dogs. In Hong Kong, dogs are prohibited from public transportations. Some places in Hong Kong are dog-friendly, but the fact that you can’t put them on public transportations means you should have your own private car or taxi.

Some buildings also don’t allow you to have dogs or any other pets. This is another challenge too. So before you have a dog, make sure that your building allows dogs. As a dog owner in a place where not everybody is fond of dogs, beware of the food found in the streets. Don’t let your dog lick it because it might be poisoned.

In the end, dogs in Hong Kong are for those who have the means to shelter and take care of them. If you know that the dog will just suffer and have a hard time living with you, then it might not be a good idea to have a dog for now.

Cat — 貓 (Maau1)

Next is another favorite pet of humans, which are cats. This is the reason why it is included in the list of animals in Cantonese that we will learn. Unlike dogs, cats are more independent, making it somehow easier to take care of. They can live whit small places, and they don’t need much attention. But of course, in Hong Kong, just like dogs, not all the places are cat-friendly. In deciding whether on not to get a cat, there are some factors to be considered.

First, are you going to adopt a kitten or an older one? Kittens are easy to be trained. Older cats may have a hard and long time adjusting, especially when they used to be stray cats. To help them adjust, you can take home something from their previous homes, like a toy or something else. You should also put safety nets and windows protection, especially if you’re living in a high place. It’s best to build something in your house where your cat can climb. Of course, prepare for some scratches all over the place.

Most of all, don’t forget to get a new collar for your cat to make you feel that it is officially yours. In case it gets lost, there are higher chances that it will find its way back to you.

Fish — 魚 (Jyu2)

After learning the two pet animals in Cantonese, let us now go to one of the most ingredients in seafood dishes in Cantonese cuisine. Did you know that Hong Kong has one of the highest consumption of seafood? One of the most in-demand fish in Hong Kong is mackerel, joined by other seafood like lobsters, crabs, clams, and sea urchins.

Bird — 鳥 (Liu5)

Birds are one of the animals in Cantonese that we will learn about because Hong Kong has a fun fact about birds. Did you know what is Hong Kong’s national bird is? Well, I bet you couldn’t find the answer because Hong Kong hasn’t declared its national bird until this day. But, there are different types of birds that you can see in Hong Kong, like Rock pigeons, Spotted doves, Black-faced spoonbills, Eurasian tree sparrows, and more.

Panda — 熊貓 (Hung4 Maau1)

You might be wondering why Panda has suddenly appeared in this main list of animals in Cantonese. The real reason behind this is that the Giant Panda in Hong Kong’s national animal. If you have played Tekken, there’s a character there named Panda which is a bodyguard of Ling Xiaoyu, a Chinese fighting character in Tekken. From there, you can see that Chinese culture really gives importance to pandas.

In Hong Kong, they treasure pandas, and two of the well-known giant pandas are An An and Jia Jia. Fun fact, giant pandas are tiny newborns that weigh around 100 g. When they reach adulthood, they can weigh up to 100 kg, or 1,000 times their birth weight.

Other Names Of Animals In Cantonese

Did you know that the Cantonese word for squirrel, which is 豪豬 hou4 zyu1, literally means arrow pig rabbit? If you have enjoyed learning the first five animals in Cantonese, here are some more:

Farm Animals

Other Mammals

Fish And Other Marine Animals

Birds And Other Flying Animals

Bugs And Insects

Amphibians And Reptiles

Develop Your Written And Spoken Cantonese With Ling

How amazing is it to be able to talk with Cantonese native speakers while going around the zoo, right? Well, if you want to interact more with the locals, Ling App will definitely make it happen.

As we all know, language learning takes time. Regardless of the level of difficulty (how easy or hard), you should really invest your time and invest in resources that can help you master your target language. The Ling App will provide you with a fun and engaging language-learning experience that you need. Choose a topic that interests you and learn it through different activities such as mini-games, quizzes, dialogues, and chatbots. With the help of translations, audio recordings from native speakers, images, spaced repetition, and linguistic research, learning will be meaningful and on point.

Nothing is impossible if you work hard, even learning a language. So, if you want to learn Cantonese, learn with Ling App now.



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