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The pingouin is not your friendly penguin!

Indeed he is a false friend. You may think that he is the amiable penguin but they live only in the southern hemisphere. Instead he is the cheap knock-off of the penguin found in the northern hemisphere, the auk :P So when translating the new article on le pingouin, please keep this in mind and don't write that penguins live on the coasts of Europe and at the North Pole, because they would be very confused to find themselves there!

p.s. the bird shown in the picture in the article is a razorbill, which is a species of auk. So razorbill would be another acceptable translation. In France the razorbill is known as le petit pingouin, but also just as pingouin. Its close relative, le grand pingouin (Great Auk), was hunted to extinction in the mid 19th century by collectors for museums :(

August 11, 2012



Thank you for explaining, because my dictionary is quite good, but not that good.

[deactivated user]

    I looked up auk but I don't think that is quite correct either. if you check out razorbill in English Wikipedia and I think you will find it matches exactly including photo and everything I know you mention this but being a pernickety type sometimes...


    @Spanna Yes, I also get the impression that they are talking specifically about the razorbill (species) rather than more generally about the auk (family). In which case they should have titled their article petit pingouin, but Vikidia often doesn't have that level of correctness (the French Wikipedia does). So yes, razorbill is perhaps the better translation but I think both are fine seeing as the razorbill is also an auk. The important point remains that razorbills/auks are not penguins.


    Yep, this one confused me for a bit. Being a Kiwi, when I read the line about the "penguins" living on northern coasts of Europe, I had to stop and look in my dictionary. I thought the photo was a bit odd!

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