英文 “rat” 不是一个好词，经常被用来形容［小人］，［告密者］，做动词时便是［打小报告］。我对英文把鼠年称为 “The Year of Rat” 颇有异议。因平常用小鼠作实验，前些天在系里作报告时，趁机光大了一下我中华文化。
It is said there’s a “Year of Rat” in Chinese calendar, it’s actually a “Year of Mouse”. Because, we don’t have “rats” in China.
A rat is a big mouse.（大老鼠)
A squirrel is a mouse in a pine tree.（松鼠）
A chipmunk is a mouse with stripes.（花栗鼠）
A mole is a mouse that lives in dark.（鼹鼠）
A guinea pig is a mouse that looks like a pig.（豚鼠，又称荷兰猪)
A hamster is a mouse with large cheeks for storing food.（大颊鼠，又称仓鼠)
A kangaroo is a mouse with a pouch.（袋鼠）
(Well, so it's not really a mouse, but that’s what we call it.)
However, a mouse, is just a mouse.