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Spanish Nature Names & Animal Talk

Names Of Things In Nature / Nombres De Las Cosas En La Naturaleza

Animals,

Here you will find the names of trees, flowers and animals in Spanish. Some things in Dominican Republic have names that are different than other Spanish speaking countries. Also, how to use animals traits to describe people and the sounds animals make in Spanish.

A very important Dominicanism to remember is the word vaina. If you do not know what something is just point at it and say la vaina / the thing. This can cover up for many unknown words!

Trees | Animals | Using Animal Traits to Describe People | Animal Talk | El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm), the song |

Trees / Árboles

*Almendra – Almond trees. These trees can get quite large and produce a single fruit inside of a flour type bud.

A beautiful Almendra Tree
A beautiful Almendra Tree

*Almacigo – Mastic tree
*Arce – Maple
*Avellano – Hazel
*Caimito – Star apple
*Cajuil – Cashew
*Caoba – Mahogany tree. This tree is the National Tree of Dominican Republic
*Cedro – Cedar
*Cerezo – Cherry tree
*Flamboyant/ Framboyan – Flame Tree or Royal Poinciana. This tree flowers in late spring/ early summer and is very beautiful with its bright red umbrella of flowers.

A beautiful Flamboyant Tree with it's bright red flowers.
A beautiful Flamboyant Tree with it’s bright red flowers.

*Guasábara – Species of cactus that grows in the barren zones of the Dominican Republic
*Higuera – Fig tree

The Grown In Dominican Republic page.

Animals / Animales

(details about many of the Creatures found in Dominican Republic)

*Ardilla – Squirrel
*Cabron – a large male goat
*Cacata – tarantula-type spider (picture and information about the cacata)
*Chinchilín – blackbird
*Chivo – goat
*Cocuyo or Cucuyo – firefly, lightning bug
*Gallina – chicken
*Huron – ferret
*Mono – monkey
*Paloma – Pigeon
*Pavo – turkey
*Peje, Pecao – fish
*Viralata – used to describe a mixed breed dog, and the way they search for food. “Living out of the can”
*Zorrillo – skunk

Using animals traits to describe people

*Burro – (donkey) a gross person
*Conejo – (rabbit) someone whose front teeth are large or missing
*Jirafas – (giraffes) women who excel because of their high stature
*Leon – (lion) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Gallo/ Gallito – (rooster) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Liebre – (hare) a person that cannot be caught when he flees
*Perro – (dog) one that does not have morals and lacks education
*Puerco – (pig) person with bad hygiene
*Pulpo – (squid) type of person that wants everything to be the way he wants it to be, grabs for all of life
*Ratón – (mouse) someone that is of small build
*Rata – (rat) low person without morals or values
*Toro – (bull) person with great force and resistance, bull-headed

How Animals Talk / Cómo los Animales Hablan

Remember the song Old McDonald Had a Farm (The Spanish version is called El Viejo Juancho Tenía Una Granja is on the bottom of this page)? Well, in Spanish the animals make different sounds. Yes, animals living in Spanish speaking countries also speak Spanish. Even though when hearing a Spanish speaking animal make their given noise the sound is the same in my ear, when it hits a Spanish speaking person ear, I guess, the sound is different. The person who’s eardrums are intercepting the sound interprets the animal talk into their own language.

One really never thinks of an animal speaking a different language until you are confronted with it. When in Dominican Republic try calling a cat or dog the way you usually call them. They will ignore you completely (unless you have food that is). They are probably laughing at you inside their little animal heads!

Remember, the little lip popping, kissy sound one makes to call a dog in one country can (and does) mean Attack! in Dominican Republic. A cat will ignore you completely if you call it as you would in English but as soon as you say misu, misu it (may) then pay you attention. I wonder what Doctor Doolittle would do…..

The bees say buzzz in English and Spanish.
The bees say buzzz in English and Spanish.

*Bee – English = bzzzz / Las abejas hacen en español (the bees say in Spanish) = bzzz
*Bird – English = tweet tweet / Los pájaros trinan hacen en español de españa (Spain) = pío pío, Argentina Spanish = pi pi
*Cat – English = meow / El Gato ladra hace español = miau
*Chick – USA English = peep peep / British English=cheep cheep / Español = pío pío
*Cow – English = moo / Las vacas mugen hacen en español = muuu
*Crow – English = caw / Español = cruaaac, cruaaac
*Dog – English = bow wow, arf, woof, ruff ruff / El perro ladra hace español = guau guau or wow wow
*Donkey – English = hee-haw / Costa Rica Spanish = iii-aah, iii-aah
*Dove, pigeon – English = coo / La paloma hace en español = cu-curru-cu-cú
*Duck – English = quack quack / Los Patos hacen en español de españa (Spain) = cuá cuá / Argentina Spanish=cuac cuac
*Frog – English = ribbit / Spain Spanish = La rana croa hace encruá-cruá / Argentina Spanish = berp / Peru Spanish = croac, croac
*Goat – English = baaah / El chivo hace en español = bee bee
*Hen – English = cackle and cluck / Español = coc co co coc
*Horse – English = neigh or whinny / El caballo relincha hace / Colombia Spanish = iiiiou / Paraguay Spanish = ioohoho / Peru Spanish = iiiiii / Spain Spanish = híiiiiiiiii
*Owl – English = hoo / El búho hace en español = uu uu
*Pig – English = oink oink / El cerdo hace en español = oink-oink
*Rooster – English = cock-a-doodle-doo / El gallo canta hace / Spain Spanish = kikirikí / Argentina Spanish = ki-kiri-ki

The chickens in the tree say ki-kiri-ki
The chickens in the tree say ki-kiri-ki

*Sheep – English = baaah / Las ovejas balan; hacen / Spain Spanish = bee / Argentina Spanish = meeee
*Tiger – English = grrrrrr / El tigre hace Spain Spanish = grgrgrgr / Venezuela Spanish = gggrrrrrrr

(my little joke – Tiger – Dominican person speaking in English “Hey BABY”! IE: definition of a tigre in Dominican Spanish is a person who is a womanizer)

El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm)

translated by Paola Ferate-Soto

El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.
Y en su granja tenía un marrano, iai, iai, oo.
Con su oink, oink aquí, con su oink, oink allí,
Aquí oink, allí oink, en todos lados oink, oink.
El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.

The rest of the verses continue:
Vaca: mu, mu
Pollito: pío, pío
Caballo: neigh, neigh
Oveja: bee, bee
Perro: guau, guau
Gato: miau, miau
Pato: cuac, cuac

Dominican Christmas Words

Dominican Christmas Words

Some important Christmas/ Navidad words in Spanish and their English translations.

Christmas | Songs | Decorations | Traditional Foods | Town and Neighborhood Traditions | Children – Three Kings Day | El Burrito de Belén song and lyrics | Christmas Words | Picture Collection – Christmas in Colonial Zone and Dominican Republic

árbol de navidad / Christmas Tree on Calle el Conde

*el acebo – holly
*árbol de navidad – Christmas tree
*bambalinas – ornaments
*bastón de dulce – candy cane
*la cabalgata – On 6th January there is a Christmas parade, the
principal characters are the “magi kings” who drive around
the city on *a float and shower the children and people with
sweets and other presents.
*campana – bell
*cascabel – sleigh bell
*duende – elf
*dulce – a piece of candy
*el espíritu navideño – the Christmas spirit
*el espumillón – tinsel
*¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo! – Merry Christmas and a
Prosperous New Year!
*galleta – cookie

*hombre de nieve – snow man
*luces – Christmas Tree lights
*muérdago – mistletoe
*navidad – Christmas
*nieve – snow
*noche buena – Christmas eve
*ornamento – decorations
*oye – hear
*Papá Noel – Father Christmas
*polo norte – north pole
*pone – hang

*prende – light an object
*un ramo de Navidad – a Christmas wreath
*reno – reindeer
*los Reyes Magos – the Three Kings, the Three
Wise Men
*trineo – sleigh
*un villancico – Christmas carol
*vela – candle
*vuela – flies

Christmas Songs

Canciones de Navidad/ Songs of Christmas

The songs of Christmas are an important part of the holiday season in Dominican Republic. Both the traditional carols and the fun merengue tunes. Everyone loves to sing along.

Christmas | Songs | Decorations | Traditional Foods | Town and Neighborhood Traditions | Children – Three Kings Day | El Burrito de Belén song and lyrics | Christmas Words | Picture Collection – Christmas in Colonial Zone and Dominican Republic

Villancicos

Singing Christmas carols, known as villancicos, for the neighbors and inviting the singers in for a treat or a nice drink is a fun tradition here on the island. The drink is usually Té jengibre / Ginger tea (ginger tea recipe), coffee, and for imbibers ron/ rum. The caroling venture usually wrap-ups with a good party that includes drinking, dancing and in general a good time for all.

Christmas / Navidad lights at Brilliante Navidad
Christmas / Navidad lights at Brilliante Navidad

There are many Holiday songs here that are unique to the Dominican Republic and the other Latin American countries. Here, as in most of the Latin countries, many of the Christmas songs are accompanied by a merengue rhythm. This results in the Christmas carols being quite danceable, which all Dominicans delight in.

Some notable songs in this style are Volvió Juanita by Milly Quezada, Salsa pa tu lechón by Johnny Ventura, La trulla navideña by del Conjunto Quisquella.

The traditional Christmas songs in English cannot be translated word for word to make any sense in Spanish. Because of this many of the songs in Spanish can be totally dissimilar. Note also that in many cases the translations are far from literal because if they were translated word for word the rhythm and meaning of the song would be lost.

Spanish – English Christmas Songs

School children doing a Navidad Show in Parque Rosado
School children doing a Navidad Show in Parque Rosado.

Here are some names of English Christmas songs with their counterparts in Spanish.

*Ya llegó la Navidad/ Deck the Halls
*Feliz Navidad/ Merry Christmas
*Qué verdes son/ O Christmas Tree
*Adornemos Nuestras Casas/ Deck the Halls
*Venid, Adoremos/ O Come All Ye Faithful
*La Primera Navidad/ The First Noel
*Felixidad al Mundo/ Joy to the World
*Jesús en Pesebre/ Away in a Manger
*Campanas de Navidad/ I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
*Noche de Paz/ Silent Night
*Noche Sagrada/ O Holy Night
*A la Nanita, Nana/ Traditional Lullaby
*Los Tres Reyes/ We Three Kings
*El Niño del Tambor/ The Little Drummer Boy
*Los doce días de Navidad/ The 12 Days of Christmas
*Hoy en la tierra/ Angels We Have Heard on High
*¿Qué niño es éste?/ What Child Is This?

CASCABEL/ Jingle Bells

One of my favorite, simple Spanish carols is Cascabel. There are many different versions but the one I have here is my favorite version because it has the traditional Jingle Bells tune.

Es Noel, es Noel Suena el cascabel De un venado muy veloz Que tiene Santa Claus Corre ya, juega ya
Hoy es Navidad Los juguetes hay Que dar por Toda la ciudad Qué bonito es, Es correr con rapidez
Ir con Santa Claus y escuchar su voz Suena el cascabel Quiero ir con él Con mis amiguito
Y cantar feliz noel!!!!

Los peces en el río

Los peces en el río/ The Fishes in the River is a traditional Spanish Christmas Carol that is popular in Spain and Latin America alike. It is about how the fish in the river keep returning to where Mary is so they can see God being born. This is the songs estribillo/ chorus in Spanish and English.

Pero mira cómo beben, los peces en el río.
Pero mira cómo beben, por ver a Dios nacido.
Beben y beben, y vuelven a beber.
Los peces en el río, por ver a Dios nacer.

But look how the fish in the river drink.
But look how they drink in order to see the God who is born.
They drink and they drink and they return to drink,
The fish in the river to see God being born.
*El Burro y el Pavo/ The Donkey and the Turkey

El Pavo Y El Burro

El Pavo Y El Burro is a traditional children’s song Merengue style. It is the story of a turkey that lies around all year getting fat, making fun of the hard-working burro. Then Christmas comes. The turkey will be stuck like a pig. As the chorus says interpreted roughly” To all fat pigs Christmas Eve will arrive”

Listen to Bonny Cepeda “El Burro y El Pavo” MP3

Había una vez, según dice el cuento
Un pavo de granja, que vivía del cuento
Siempre se burlaba, de un burro que había
Trabajando siempre, de noche y de día.

(Chorus/ Estribillo)

El burro lloraba, el pavo reía. El burro lloraba, el pavo reía.
El burro lloraba, el pavo reía. El burro lloraba, el pavo reía.

Fue en un mes de mayo,
que el pavo llegó a la granja.
Y desde ese día el burrito no tuvo calma
El pavo sentado, riendo y gozaba
Diciéndole al burro, ¡Trabaja, trabaja!

(Chorus/ Estribillo)

Pasaron los meses–junio, julio y agosto
Y el pobre animal, volviéndose loco.
Septiembre y octubre, y luego noviembre
Y sufriendo así, le llegó diciembre.

(Chorus/ Estribillo)

Y faltando un día, para una gran fiesta
Llevaron el burro, a comprar la cena
Y al volver el burro, el pavo miró
Que no trajo carne, y le preguntó.

¿Donde está la carne que yo no la veo.
¿Donde está la carne… Donde está la carne?
¿Donde está la carne, que yo no la veo.
¿Donde está la carne… Donde está la carne?

El pavo nervioso, vuelve y preguntó
¿Donde está la carne? No la veo yo.
Y el burro riendo, con todos los dientes
Le responde al pavo, !Llegó tu diciembre!

El pavo lloraba, el burro reía. El pavo lloraba, el burro reía.
El pavo lloraba, el burro reía. El pavo lloraba, el burro reía.

El pavo lloraba, el burro reía. El pavo lloraba, el burro reía.
El pavo lloraba, el burro reía. El pavo lloraba, el burro reía.

For the complete lyrics and more Christmas songs along with their translations go to:
Spanish About.com, Villancicos de Navidad a las Arandelas, and Silvita Blanco – Villacicos de Navidad.

Continue Christmas Food

ColonialZone-DR.com, The Dominican Gringa Blog and Teli, The Dominican Dog have a video Christmas card for you. Felix Navidad.
www.colonialzone-dr.com/christmas-video