Unlocking Language: How to Say Squirrel in Japanese

If you’ve been learning Japanese, you may have noticed the absence of the word “squirrel” from your vocabulary. But fear not! In this section, we’ll teach you how to say “squirrel” in Japanese, as well as how to translate and pronounce it correctly.

Firstly, let’s start with the basics: the Japanese word for squirrel is リス (risu). This term is commonly used to refer to all types of squirrels, including the popular Japanese red squirrel (ニホンリス, nihon risu).

When it comes to translating “squirrel” into Japanese, there are a few different options. One of the most commonly used translations is 栗鼠 (risu), which directly translates to “chestnut mouse”. Another translation is リス, which we mentioned earlier.

Now that you know the Japanese word for squirrel and some translations, it’s time to work on your pronunciation. To say “squirrel” in Japanese, you’ll need to break it down into syllables: su-ku-i-ru. The “u” sound is pronounced like the “oo” in “loo”, and the “i” sound is pronounced like the “ee” in “feet”. Say the syllables together quickly and you’ve got it – su-ku-i-ru!

Finally, it’s worth noting that squirrels hold cultural significance in Japan, featuring in folklore and art. They are also sometimes referred to as てんぐ (tengu), which is the name of a mythical Japanese creature with a long nose and red face.

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about saying “squirrel” in Japanese. With these tips, you’ll be able to effortlessly incorporate this word into your Japanese vocabulary.

The Japanese Word for Squirrel

So, what is the Japanese word for squirrel? The term used to refer to these adorable animals in Japanese is “risu” (りす).

English Japanese Pronunciation
Squirrel りす Ri-su

The word “risu” can be used to refer to various types of squirrels, such as the Japanese flying squirrel, which is known as “momonga” (モモンガ) in Japanese.

Fun Fact:

In addition to being a cute and beloved animal, the squirrel also has cultural significance in Japan. In Japanese folklore, squirrels are said to be messengers of the gods, and are often depicted as lively and playful creatures in art and literature.

Translating “Squirrel” into Japanese

When it comes to translating the word “squirrel” into Japanese, there are a few different options to choose from depending on the context and usage. Here are some common translations:

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Japanese Translation
リス risu
栗鼠 kurinoko

The most commonly used term for squirrel in Japanese is “risu”. This is the word you are most likely to come across in everyday conversation. However, “kuri” means chestnut and “noko” means mouse, so the term “kurinoko” is also used to describe squirrels in a more literal sense.

It’s important to note that the word “risu” can also be used to refer to chipmunks and other small rodents, so the context of the conversation is crucial in determining which animal is being referred to.

Using “Risu” in Context

If you want to say “I saw a squirrel in the park”, you would say:

Japanese Translation
公園でリスを見た。 Kouen de risu o mita.

If you want to say “The squirrel climbed up the tree”, you would say:

Japanese Translation
リスが木に登った。 Risu ga ki ni nobotta.

By understanding the different translations and their appropriate usage, you can effectively use the word “squirrel” in Japanese conversation and better communicate with native speakers.

Pronouncing “Squirrel” in Japanese

Now that you know the Japanese word for squirrel and how to translate it, it’s time to learn how to pronounce it like a native speaker. The pronunciation of “squirrel” in Japanese may seem tricky at first, but with practice, you’ll be able to nail it.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step Instruction
1 Start by saying “squi-“. The “u” sound is pronounced shorter and crisper than in English.
2 Next, say the Japanese sound “ー”, which means to lengthen the vowel sound. This indicates that the syllable “squi” should be pronounced with a slightly longer “i” sound than in English.
3 Then, add the Japanese syllable “る” (read as “ru”) to complete the word. This should be pronounced with a rolled “r” sound, similar to the Spanish “rr”.

Putting it all together, the Japanese pronunciation for squirrel is “スクワレル” (sukuwareru).

To further practice your pronunciation, listen to native speakers saying the word and repeat after them. You can also use online resources such as Japanese language learning apps or audio guides to perfect your pronunciation.

Other Interesting Facts About Squirrels in Japan

Did you know that squirrels have been a part of Japanese culture for centuries? In Japan, squirrels are known as “risu,” which is a generic term used to refer to all species of squirrels.

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Other Names for Squirrels in Japan

While “risu” is the most commonly used term for squirrels in Japan, there are other names and terms associated with them as well. For example, in some regions of Japan, squirrels are also referred to as “nibuku” or “hide,” which are older terms for the animal.

Cultural Significance of Squirrels in Japan

Squirrels hold a special place in Japanese culture, often symbolizing positivity, energy, and resilience. They are also associated with the autumn season and are often depicted in art and literature as playful and mischievous creatures.

Squirrel Folklore in Japan

One popular Japanese folktale features a squirrel named “Tsuru no Maru,” who helps a lost traveler find his way home. The story portrays squirrels as clever and resourceful animals who are willing to help those in need.

In Japanese mythology, squirrels are also believed to have spiritual powers, such as the ability to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

There you have it – a brief glimpse into the fascinating world of squirrels in Japan. Now that you know what squirrels are called in Japanese and a little bit about their cultural significance, you can impress your friends with your newfound knowledge.


Q: How do you say “squirrel” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for squirrel is “risu” (りす).

Q: How do you pronounce “risu”?

A: To pronounce “risu,” start with a rolled “r” sound, followed by a long “ee” sound and end with a short “s” sound.

Q: Are there any other terms or names for squirrels in Japanese?

A: While “risu” is the most common term for squirrels in Japanese, there are also regional variations such as “tamiasu” in some areas.

Q: What is the cultural significance of squirrels in Japan?

A: Squirrels are often associated with agility and resourcefulness in Japanese folklore. They are sometimes depicted as symbols of good luck and are featured in traditional art and stories.

Q: Can I find squirrels in Japanese parks or nature reserves?

A: Yes, squirrels can be found in many parks and nature reserves throughout Japan. They are often attracted to green spaces and can be observed in their natural habitats.

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