Source of the picture above: http://www.aidemoi.net/animaux/guepard.html
The « guépard » is the equivalent of the English word “cheetah”. These beautiful big cats reside in Northern, Southern and East Africa and are considered endangered as of today…
You might wonder what is the difference between a leopard, a jaguar and a cheetah or « guépard ». Well the jaguar is also a big cat but is located in the Southern part of North America and in South America only. Also, the jaguar is usually slightly stouter and sturdier than a cheetah. A leopard, also called a panther, is also a big cat which is mostly in sub-Sahara domain, in some parts of Asia and India. The leopard has shorter legs and a bigger skull. One other way to distinguish between those three big cats is to check their markings or rosettes as they are sometimes called. The leopard’s rosettes are smaller, more packed together and without a white center usually. The jaguar’s rosettes may or may not contain several dots. The cheetah’s rosettes are solid black and the cheetah (guépard) is generally slender and longer with a small round head. Below I have included pictures of these three big cats…
First here is a picture of a jaguar:
Following is the picture of a leopard:
And here again is the photo of a « guépard » or a cheetah:
You will notice also that the « guépard » has beautiful facial features defined by black fur.
The cheetah is noted to be one of the fastest land animal and can achieve acceleration speeds of 112 km/h (70 mph).
The French word « guépard » probably comes from the latin “gapardus” which became popular around 1622 and was somehow changed to the word « gapar » in 1637. It just might also be affiliated with the Italian word “gattopardo” with “gatto” meaning cat and “pardo” meaning the cat is leaving.
The best way I can explain to how to pronounce the word « guépard » is by the first part « gué » sounds like gay (no offence to anybody), and the second part « pard » sounding like the “par” of the word de”par”ture. You do not pronounce the last letter d when you say the word « guépard ».
This was my seventh little French (Canadian variant) lesson. Hope you enjoyed it. The upcoming letter is H… and will be featured next week…