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How to Say Capybara in English

by Baby Capybara

Have you ever come across a capybara and wondered how to say its name correctly in English? Well, fret no more! In this article, we will guide you on the correct pronunciation of “capybara” in English. Whether you’re a language enthusiast, an animal lover, or just someone curious about these charismatic creatures, this guide will help you confidently say “capybara” with ease. So let’s jump right in and discover the proper way to pronounce this fascinating word!

How to Say Capybara in English

Different Words




When it comes to pronouncing the word “capybara,” you may come across different variations. Although they may look quite similar, they actually represent different ways to say the same word. The most common pronunciations you might encounter are “cap-ee-bara,” “cape-y-bara,” and “capy-bar-a.” Regardless of which version you prefer, all three are considered correct and widely used. It’s worth noting that these variations are a result of differences in accents and regional dialects, and they do not affect the meaning or significance of the word.

Pronunciation Tips

Soft ‘C’ Sound

Double ‘R’ Sound

To accurately pronounce “capybara,” let’s break it down into two key elements – the soft “C” sound and the double “R” sound. To start, when saying the word, focus on the initial “C” sound. Instead of pronouncing it as a hard “C” (like in “cat”), you should pronounce it as a soft “C” (like in “cell”). This produces the “cap” sound at the beginning of the word.

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Moving on to the double “R” sound, it’s crucial to note that in most English dialects, “RR” generally represents a rolled or trilled sound. To achieve this sound, position the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and quickly vibrate it. This should result in a distinct “rra” sound at the end of the word.

By combining the soft “C” sound at the beginning and the rolled double “R” sound at the end, you will be able to confidently pronounce “capybara” in English.

How to Say Capybara in English

Meaning and Origin

Rooted in the Guaraní Language


The word “capybara” has its roots in the Guaraní language, which is spoken by indigenous communities in South America. It is believed that the term “capybara” originated from the Guaraní words “kapii” and “bara,” which together mean “master of the grasses” or “one who eats slender leaves.” This name aptly describes the capybara’s love for vegetation and its status as the largest rodent species in the world.

In terms of etymology, the word “capybara” does not have any known variations in its spelling or pronunciation across different languages. However, the pronunciation of the word may slightly differ depending on regional accents and dialects.

Native Language Translations




Being native to South America, it’s no surprise that “capybara” has translations in several languages spoken in the region. In Spanish, the word for capybara is “carpincho.” Meanwhile, in Portuguese, it is referred to as “capivara.” These translations demonstrate the linguistic diversity of the region and the important role capybaras play in the ecosystems where these languages are spoken.

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Additionally, in the Guaraní language itself, capybaras are known as “nambi pichy” or “nambi kyhyje.” These translations further highlight the inherent cultural significance the capybara holds within the indigenous communities of South America.

How to Say Capybara in English

International Variations




As capybaras gain international recognition, their name often undergoes subtle changes in various languages around the world. For example, in Japanese, capybaras are known as “カピバラ” (kapibara). Similarly, the French translation for capybara is “capibara,” and in German, it is referred to as “Kapibara.” Despite these slight differences in pronunciation and spelling, all the variations are easily recognizable as referring to the lovable capybara.

Scientific Terminology

Hydrochoerus Hydrochaeris

In the realm of scientific nomenclature, the capybara is referred to by its binomial name – Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. This classification aids in categorizing and identifying the species accurately. The genus name, Hydrochoerus, originates from the Greek words “hudor” (water) and “choiros” (pig) – reflecting the capybara’s semi-aquatic nature and its resemblance to a pig. The species name, hydrochaeris, further emphasizes the capybara’s affinity for water.

How to Say Capybara in English

Popular Nicknames

Water Hog

Giant Guinea Pig

River Rat

Apart from its official name, the capybara also goes by some popular nicknames. One of them is “water hog,” which stems from their fondness for aquatic habitats and their resemblance to pigs. Additionally, due to their large size and similar appearance, capybaras are sometimes called “giant guinea pigs,” highlighting their kinship to the smaller domestic rodent. Another nickname you might come across is “river rat,” which references both their semi-aquatic lifestyle and their classification as rodents.

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Spoken Examples

Audio Recordings of Capybara Pronunciation

To assist you further in mastering the pronunciation of “capybara,” we have provided audio recordings of the word being spoken by native English speakers, including variations “cap-ee-bara,” “cape-y-bara,” and “capy-bar-a.” By listening to these examples, you can familiarize yourself with the correct pronunciation and practice the desired sound until it becomes second nature.

How to Say Capybara in English

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Capybaras Rodents?

Can Capybaras be Kept as Pets?

One common question people have about capybaras is whether they are rodents. The answer is yes. Capybaras are classified as rodents and belong to the order Rodentia. They share this classification with other familiar creatures such as mice, rats, squirrels, and beavers. While capybaras might be larger and have a different appearance than traditional pet rodents, they are indeed part of the rodent family.

Regarding the possibility of keeping a capybara as a pet, it is important to note that regulations and restrictions vary between regions and countries. In some places, capybaras may be legally owned as pets with the proper permits and care guidelines in place. However, they have specific needs that must be met, such as ample space, a suitable diet, and social interactions. It is crucial to thoroughly research and understand the requirements and responsibilities involved before considering a capybara as a pet.

Importance of Correct Pronunciation

Cultural Sensitivity

Effective Communication

While correct pronunciation may seem trivial, it holds a significant role in both cultural sensitivity and effective communication. By making an effort to pronounce words accurately, including “capybara,” you show respect for the language and culture from which it originates. Additionally, it fosters better communication, as people will understand your intended meaning without confusion or misinterpretation.

When encountering words from different languages, such as “capybara,” embracing correct pronunciation is not only a way of showing respect but also a means of fostering cultural understanding. By appreciating and pronouncing words accurately, we can celebrate and embrace the rich linguistic diversity that makes our world so fascinating. So, whether you opt for “cap-ee-bara,” “cape-y-bara,” or “capy-bar-a,” just remember to say it with confidence and a friendly smile!

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