Spanish -

How To Say "Turtle" In Spanish

Finding translations for common words and phrases is an exciting journey when learning a new language. This article dives into the world of Spanish vocabulary and focuses on one specific word: "turtle." We will explore the different ways in which this concept can be expressed in Spanish, its meaning, and regional references, and provide example sentences to improve your language skills. 

Buy the 10.000 Most Common Spanish Words eBook set.
Learn Spanish smart and efficiently with the top 10.000 Spanish words.

What is "Turtle" in Spanish?

In Spanish, the word for "turtle" can vary depending on the region. However, the most common term used to refer to a turtle is tortuga (IPA: /toɾˈtuɣa/). This word can be used to describe both freshwater and sea turtles. The plural form for turtle is tortugas (IPA: /toɾˈtuɣas/).

Meaning of "Turtle" in Spanish

The term "tortuga" refers to both land and sea turtles, encompassing the entire turtle family. In the Spanish language, this word represents the slow-moving, reptilian creatures that can be found in various habitats worldwide. From the iconic sea turtles of the Galápagos Islands to the ancient giant tortoises of the Caribbean, the term "tortuga" encompasses the rich diversity of these intriguing creatures. 

4 eBooks of the Spanish Frequency Dictionaries series by MostUsedWords
Take a look at our series of frequency dictionaries to learn Spanish words fast. Stop learning hard, and start learning smart!

Regional Variations

Spanish is a diverse language with variations depending on the region. The term "turtle" may vary slightly depending on the country or region. Here are some examples. 

  • Mexico: In Mexico, "turtle" can also be referred to as jicotea (IPA: /xi.koˈte.a/) or charapa (IPA: /tʃaˈɾ in certain regions.

  • Spain: In Spain, the term "tortuga" remains the most common word for "turtle." However, in certain regions of Spain, the term tortuga marina (IPA: /torˈtuɣa maˈɾina/) is used specifically for sea turtles, while "tortuga" is used for freshwater turtles.

  • Argentina: In Argentina, you may encounter the term cágado (IPA: /ˈka.ɣ instead of "tortuga" in some regions.

How to Say "Turtle" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences you can use to say "turtle" in Spanish:

  • ¿Dónde puedo ver una tortuga marina en México?

(Where can I see a sea turtle in Mexico?)

  • Las tortugas son criaturas fascinantes y longevas.

(Turtles are fascinating and long-lived creatures.)

  • Me gustaría tener una tortuga como mascota.

(I would like to have a turtle as a pet.)

  • En mi país, a las tortugas de río las llamamos jicoteas.

(In my country, we call freshwater turtles jicoteas.)

  • Observé una tortuga nadando en el lago esta mañana.

(I observed a turtle swimming in the lake this morning.)

All MostUsedWords Spanish Frequency Dictionaries in Paperback
Take a look at what our customers have to say, and get your Spanish Frequency Dictionaries in paperback here! We offer different levels:


Learning how to say "turtle" in Spanish opens up a world of linguistic possibilities. "Tortuga" is the most commonly used term in the Spanish-speaking world and refers to both freshwater and sea turtles. However, there are also regional variations, such as "jicotea" and "tortuga marina", which are specific to a particular region. By familiarizing yourself with these variations and understanding the noun and verb forms, you will be able to confidently talk about turtles in a Spanish context.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published