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Learning French

French Vocabulary You can learn by visiting a Zoo in France

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On holiday in France to learn French, you decide to visit the zoo to perfect your French vocabulary and especially the names of animals in French.

Indeed, visiting the zoo is a fun way to learn French and since there are factsheets available in front of each enclosure and throughout the whole walk around the zoo, it helps! This way, you are able to get information on the animals you are looking at. All zoos are not the same though. Whether you are at the Bronx Zoo in New York or Madrid Zoo, you will see many differences. But imagine if you had to come back from the zoo and tell someone what you saw without even knowing the names of the animals in French!

French Vocabulary You can learn by visiting a Zoo in France

Zoo: french vocabulary

French Vocabulary related to mammals

To learn French vocabulary, it is important to understand the meaning of what we learn. Therefore, here is a short definition of what mammals are. They are vertebrate animals, which means they have a skeleton, and they are warm-blooded. They must keep a relatively stable body temperature to survive.
Mammals are usually covered with hair, completely or partially. They do not lay eggs and bear their youngsters in their bodies until birth.

Mammals are carnivores if they eat prey, herbivores if they only eat plants, or omnivores if they eat anything. Youngsters feed on their mother’s milk, until they can eat on their own.

You will find for example, in this category of animals, a dromedary, which is similar to a camel but only has a bump on his back. You can only see them at the zoo in France because they originally live in the desert. They should not be confused with camels, who have two bumps! Here is a trick to remember the name of these animals in French: It’s simple, remember the number of syllables “cha-meau” has two syllables so corresponds to two bumps!!! The other one is a “dromadaire”. But you won’t necessarily be able to see camels or dromedaries in any zoo. But maybe you will see their cousins, the llamas, that come from the Andes, and who are also from the camelid family.

Here are some animal names in French you’re probably more likely to see in a zoo: the cute zebras with their black and white stripes: (les zèbres), or very graceful giraffes with their long necks: (les giraffes). Maybe you’ll see impressive animals like the rhinoceros with horns on its nose (rhinocéros), or hippoes with their heads out of the water (hippopotames), or elephants with their big ears (éléphant) or bears with their thick fur (ours).

French Vocabulary related to felines

Cats are carnivorous mammals of various sizes depending on their species. The cat, which which you won’t find at the zoo since it is a pet, is a species of small felines, and the lion is a big one. Be careful to pronounce the name of these animals properly, as even if the word lion is identical in English and French, it is not pronounced the same way. It is not enough to learn only new French vocabulary, it is also important to learn the proper pronunciation; otherwise people might not be able to understand you. The zoo is a good opportunity not only to enrich your French vocabulary by learning the names of animals in French, but also to practice its phonetics. Listen to the children saying the different animal names.

Felines have soft hair, which length varies according to the climate where they live, species that live in a colder climate tend to have longer hair. Some felines are solitary and live alone except for the mating period, such as the lynx. Others live in groups such as lions, where one member is the leader and breeder of the pack. The group often attack larger animals that they then share as a meal.

French bird vocabulary

Birds are flying vertebrates. Some eat seeds and fruit, others feed on insects or worms. Other larger species, such as eagles can eat small rodents and other larger animals.

Birds are oviparous animals, they lay eggs to reproduce. Most builds a nest where the female will lay her eggs and cover them with her body until they hatch. The chicks are then fed until they can fly and feed on themselves on their own.

Go see the birds at the zoo, it is not always easy to remember their French names, unless you are passionate about birds. But it will be a good opportunity to learn French and enrich your French vocabulary without knowing the names of animals in French… Even if you are just starting to learn French … birds usually have beautiful colours such as parrots. You can practice saying the names of the colours, or characterise their sizes.

A bird that offers a beautiful colour found in fact in its name, is the pink flamingo you will find in lagoons or salt lakes. Do you know why they are pink? Because they eat shrimp! And if they are not in an adapted environment and therefore not eating the shrimp, you can tell because their colour will be rather grey. When they fly off, you can see the beneath of their wings is black.

Some birds fly with a lot of difficulty, and some even can’t fly at all. This is the case for the ostrich. The ostrich can however run very fast and escape this way its predators. They survived natural selection without having to fly, using other means to defend themselves or escape.

Now that you are convinced a visit to the zoo has its benefits to learn French, do as the ostrich and run quickly to the zoo! Indeed, you may have noticed that, in addition to learning the names of animals in French, simply reading the description, or the educational record of each animal, makes you work an entire French vocabulary schedule and allows you to learn french without realising you are. It’s so nice to learn French vocabulary with pictures. You can make your own picture book by taking pictures and writing not only the name of animals in French, but also some details that will enable you to enrich your French vocabulary.

So get going!!! Off to the zoo to learn French!