Vendredi de Vocabulaire: Le Gecko et Les Manchots

This week’s post is all about animals and was inspired by an episode of Vos Animaux from over the summer.

It turns out that the word for gecko in French is un gecko, but it’s pronounced with a soft g rather than a hard g as in English.

You may also recall that there was a movie called Mr. Popper’s Penguins out earlier this year. The title in French is M. Popper et ses pingouins. However, it turns out that the birds in the movie are not les pingouins (masc.) but rather les manchots (masc.). So what’s the difference?

Readers who’ve been following this blog for a while may recall that I’ve discussed les pingouins et les manchots before, but I’ve learned a bit more since then. Apparently les pingouins are what in English are called auks. Auks live in the northern hemisphere and can fly. Penguins are les manchots, and they live almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere and cannot fly (though various movies seem to suggest they can dance).

And just because it was mentioned in the same episode, a swallow is une hirondelle in French.