The Goat (Chinese: 羊; pinyin: yáng) is the eighth sign of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The sign is also referred to as the Ram or Sheep sign, since the Chinese word yáng is more accurately translated as Caprinae, a taxonomic subfamily which includes both sheep and goats.
The Year of the Goat (alternatively, Year of the Ram or Year of the Sheep) is associated with the 8th Earthly Branch symbol, 未 (wèi).
Goat or Sheep
The Chinese word yáng refers both to goats and sheep, with shānyáng specifically goats and miányáng sheep. In English, the sign (originally based on a horned animal) may be called either. The interpretation of sheep or goat depends on culture. In Vietnamese, the sign is mùi, which is unambiguously goat. In Japan, on the other hand, the sign is hitsuji, sheep; while in Korea and Mongolia the sign is also sheep or ram. Within China, there may be a regional distinction with the zodiacal yáng more likely to be thought of as a goat in the south, while tending to be thought of as a sheep in the north.