Of nose bears and swamp beavers

Yesterday’s visit to the Greifswalder Tierpark (zoo) repeatedly called to mind the helpful German Animal Names Flowchart that was doing the rounds on Facebook a while back. Among the Greifswald residents are many of the animals that the chart covers:

  • ocean piglets (Meerschweinchen) = guinea pigs
  • spike pigs (Stachelschweine) = porcupines
  • water pigs (Wasserschwein) = cabybaras
  • wash bears (Waschbären) = racoons
  • threatening chickens (Truthühner) = turkeys

A number of their neighbors aren’t on the chart but could be, such as:

OK, so maybe that last one doesn’t seem so silly to English-speakers . . .

We also saw many animals whose names don’t have quite as much entertainment value (e.g., Kängurus, a Dingo, and Alpakas). Even though they don’t have room for any big animals, like nose horns (Nashörner), it’s really a wonderful little zoo (in addition to being a fun place to amuse oneself with literal translations).

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