In English, the groundhog and the marmot are not the same thing, the groundhog being a subcategory of marmot or distinct altogether, but in spanish there is but one word for the both: "marmota". How can I distinguish between the two when writing in spanish?

En inglés, hay dos animales con nombres diferentes ("groundhog"/"marmot") que en español tienen la misma traducción: marmota. ¿Cómo puedo distinguir entre el "groundhog" y las otras marmotas cuando escribo en español?


1 Answer 1


By clicking on the Spanish translation of the Wikipedia page you provided for Groundhog, we see that the Spanish translation is Marmota Monax, or Marmota Canadiense.

  • 1
    But would you use "marmota monax" in day-to-day language? It sounds so scientific.
    – neizan
    Aug 6, 2013 at 7:20
  • 1
    @neizan If you see the distribution map, these animals are basically in US and Canada, so a "day-to-day" translation is almost imposible because we never really use the word. I certainly never have.
    – Newbie
    Aug 6, 2013 at 21:21
  • @Newbie, good point. But keep in mind there are a lot of native Spanish speakers in the US and Canada...I'm sure they have a word for it. Maybe one of them will see this comment and enlighten us.
    – neizan
    Aug 8, 2013 at 10:06
  • @neizan I agree with you, it will be really helpful.
    – Newbie
    Aug 8, 2013 at 14:40
  • 3
    For things like this, where a word is only used in an area where Spanish is not natively spoken, it's common to use the native (English, in this case) word. I could very easily see a Spanish-speaker living in the northern U.S. say "Ayer vi un Groundhog".
    – Flimzy
    Aug 8, 2013 at 20:16

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