Wednesday, 21 July 2021

What on Earth (or Neptune)?

Or not on Earth as the case may be. I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

So I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives and finally the planet Neptune

As this is one of the planets discovered in the age of astronomy and thus unknown to the ancients (it is not visible to the naked eye), many languages simply use the name 'Neptune' - these have been omitted.

Greek - Poseidon - the Greek personification of Neptune, the god of the sea.

Korean - Haewangseong - 'Star of the king of the sea'.

Mandarin Chinese - 'the ocean-king planet' and borrowed from Japanese.

Mongolia - dailain van - the same meaning and origin as Mandarin Chinese.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

What on Earth (or Uranus)?

Or not on Earth as the case may be. I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives and this time the planet Uranus.



As this is one of the planets discovered in the age of astronomy and thus unknown to the ancients (it is not visible to the naked eye), many languages simply use the name 'Uranus' - these have been omitted.

Korean - Cheonwangseong - 'Star of the king of heaven'.

Mandarin Chinese - 'the heavenly king planet'

Mongolia - Tengerijn van - in Hungarian this means 'there is a sea', which is a little confusing as it is Neptune who is the Roman god of the sea.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing to missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

What on Earth (or Saturn)?

Or not on Earth as the case may be. I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

So, I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives and this time the planet Saturn.

SATURN

Bengali - Sani - is from the Sanskrit and means 'slow moving'.

Farsi - Kayvon - means 'lofty', although how the planet appeared any higher in the sky than others is unclear.

Greek - Kronos - is from the Greek for 'time'.

Hebrew - fabtaj - 'seventh / Saturday / resting star'

Japan - Saniscara - another from the Sanskrit for 'slow moving'.

Kazakhstan - Qonyrqai - has its root in common with the Greek and thus shares its meaning of 'time'.

Korean - Toseong - 'Star of soil'.

Malayalam - Shani - again the Sanskrit 'slow moving'.

Mandarin Chinese - 'the soil planet'

Mongolia - sancir - as with the Japanese name 'slow moving'.

Sumerian - Ninurta - the god of war and hunting

Uzbek - Zuhal - 'one that lingers' and another 'slow' reference.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

What on Earth (or Jupiter)?

Or not on Earth as the case may be. I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

So I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives and this time the planet Jupiter

JUPITER

Bengali - Vrihaspati - is from Sanskrit (see below)

Greek - Zeus - originally Dyeus and from a root meaning 'sky, shine'.

Hebrew - tsedek - 'justice'

Italy - Giove - or Jove, exactly the same root as the Greek Zeus and comes from 'sky, shine'.

Japan - Brihaspati - is from Hindu mythology (see below)

Kazakhstan - Yesekqyrghan

Korean - Mokseong - 'star of wood'.

Malayalam - Vyaazham - is associated with Thursday

Mandarin Chinese - 'the wood planet'

Mongolia - Barhasbadi - again comes from Sanskrit (see below)

Old Czech - Kralomoc - means 'king power'.

Sanskrit - Brhaspati - is a Vedic sage who cousels the gods in ancient Hindu literature.

Sumerian - Anu Marduk - Also known as 'Bel' he is the main Sumerian god, god of the air and the earth.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

What on Earth (or Mars)?

I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

So, I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives and this time the planet Mars.

MARS

Arabic - Merrikh - simply a translation of 'Mars'.

Babylonian - Neberu - translates as 'crossing' or 'point of transition'. It is also the name given by some to the mysterious tenth planet.

Bengali - Mangala - a Sanskrit name (see below)

Greek - Ares - has a name derived from ara meaning 'bane, ruin, curse, imprecation'.

Hebrew - maadim - 'that which reddens'

Japan - Kasei - is another translation of 'Mars'.

Korean - Hwaseong - 'star of fire'.

Malayalam - Chouvva - is the word for 'Tuesday'.

Mandarin Chinese - 'the fire planet'

Old Czech - Smrtonos - translates as 'death'

Sanskrit - Mangala - is the god of war and is celibate. Also known as Lohit, his name is the Sanskrit word for 'red'.

Sumerian - Nergal - the god of plague, famine, war and the underworld.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

What On Earth? (Or Venus)

Or not on Earth as the case may be. I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

So I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives and this time the planet Venus.

Albania - Aferdita - 'the morning star'
Arabic - Zuhra - comes from the Arabic root meaning 'to shine'.
Aztec - Li - as far as written records show, this was the only planet the Aztecs were aware of - although it seems impossible they were not aware of Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn, too. They knew Venus as association with two of their gods, depending upon whether they saw it as the Morning Star and Quetzalcoatl, or the Evening Star and Xotol. Both gods were worshipped for centuries before the Aztecs and there is no reason to believe any of the Mesoamerican peoples and their religions saw the morning and evening appearances as two different planets or gods.
Babylonian - Delebat - associated with Istar, the goddess of love, sex, beauty, war, justice and political power also known as Inanna, she is entirely the same representation as Venus and/or Aphrodite.
Bengali - Shukra - is a figure in Hindu mythology, the name derived from a Sanskrit word meaning 'clear, bright', certainly an apt description of the planet's appearance to us here on the Earth.
Farsi - Naheed - is again a different name for the same goddess, one whose talents are identical to those of Venus.
Gaelic - Ribhinn - is from the Old Irish word rigan 'queen'.
Greek - Aphrodite - the Greek personification of Venus
Hawaii - Hoku-oa Vallis - is simply the Hawiian name for 'Venus', however it is worth noting it is also the name of one of the valleys on our so-called 'twin planet'.
Hebrew - Nogah - is derived from a word meaning 'splendour, light' and a very good description of the planet's appearance from Earth.
Japan - Kinsei - kin is 'gold' and another comment on how bright it appears in our skies.
Kazakhstan - Sholpan - is a translation of 'Venus' and also 'planet'
Korean - Geumseong - 'star of gold'.
Malayalam - Shukran - from a Sanskrit word meaning 'clear, bright'.
Mandarin Chinese - gumsing - the gold planet
Maori - Meretuahia - 'the evening star'
Mongolia - Tsolmon - and is associated with sugar and Friday.
Old Czech - Krasopani - probably a simple translation.
Sanskrit - Sukra - 'clear, bright'.
Sumerian - Istar - the goddess of love and war
Tahitian - Taura - translates as 'memory'.
Welsh - Gwener - the name of Venus here translates as 'morning'.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

What on Earth?

Or not on Earth as the case may be. I was looking at the names of our planet in languages other than English. It came as something of a disappointment to discover they were mostly translations of 'earth' in the sense of 'soil, dirt'.

Hence, I decided to look elsewhere in the heavens and see what names other languages had given to the remaining seven planets in orbit around our sun. Below is the language, its name and, where possible, the translation. Many nations simply use the same name, albeit with the phonetic spelling reflecting local pronunciation. As these clearly come from the same source as the English names, I have concentrated on the alternatives, and we start with the planet Mercury.

Arabic - Otaared - is the same deity as Mercury, the messenger.
Aztec - Payinalcitlal - research failed to trace any details on where this name originated.
Babylonian - Nabu - the ancient Mesopotamian god of literacy, the rational arts, scribes and wisdom.
Bengali - Budha - is a Hindu deity
Cantonese - Suising - again, no further information.
Farsi - Tir - is the Persian word for 'arrow'.
Greek - Hermes - is the Greek version of Mercury and, once again, the messenger
Hebrew - kochav chama - sun star
Hawaii - Ukaliali'i - is a translation of 'mercury', the metal.
Japan - Suisei - again the translation of 'mercury' the metal.
Kazakhstan - Bolpan - no amount of research revealed where the name comes from.
Korea - Soosung - 'star of water'
Malayalam - Utarid - is the translation of 'mercury'.
Mandarin Chinese - Shuixing - the water planet
Maori - Aparangi - is also a girls name.
Mongolia - budha - again, this is a Hindu deity.
Nahuatl - Payinalcitlal - again, no further information.
Old Czech - Dobropan - is another translation of 'mercury'
Sanskrit - Budha - is a Hindu deity also known as Soumya or 'son of Moon', Rauhineya, and Tunga.
Sumerian - Nabu - a deity, the god of wisdom and writing (known as the Saviour, the Redeemer)
Swahili - Zaibaki - which translates as 'the rest', although this surely has no relevance in this context.
Tahitian - Ta'ero - translates as 'drug', another which hardly seems appropriate.
Uzbek - Utorid - is the same as the Arabic name, but with the Uzbek phonetic pronunciation.

Note the spellings and characters used are English, so don't write to me pointing missing umlauts, accents, etc. or how I should have used a different alphabet.