Sunday, 20 February 2022

Valentine's Day Abroad

After the deluge of emails regarding the last post (the dictionary does not specify quantity required to be a deluge, so one could well be a deluge) I decided to look at similar terms of endearment in other languages. Rarely do these colloquialisms and phrases translate as they are originally intended.

Tio (Spain) translates as 'uncle' but is also used in the same way as 'mate, buddy'.

Tia (Spain) translates as 'aunt' and, as with the previous term, also used to mean 'mate, buddy'.

ito (Spain) is used as a diminutive, so adding it is tantamount to using '-kins' on the end of a word.

ita (Spain) again used as a diminutive, the above is masculine and this feminine.

Carino (Spain) simply transaltes as 'darling'.

Bebe (Spain) means 'baby', not hard to see, but I've never understood why 'baby' is used as a term of endearment (began in the USA) when as an Englishman I always thought it was used as an insult.

Cielo (Spain) means 'sky', and why anyone would think referring to another by such is a term of endearment is beyond me. But then I never got the "My moon and stars" reference in Game of Thrones either, albeit Jason Momoa did seem a little out of it at times.

Dulzura (Spain) translates as 'sweetness', although more likely to be used to mean 'sweetheart'.

Corazon (Spain) means 'heart', never used to refer to the organ, only as a term of endearment.

Vato (Mexico) is a slang term used to mean 'guy' which, so I understand, is used rather more in fitting with the theme in Mexcio than it is in English-speaking nations. In Britain, of course, we burn our guys on November 5th.

Mijo (Central and South America) might mean 'my son' but is used more lovingly in the Americas - unless used as a noun when it describes 'millet'

Mija (Spain) is 'my daughter' and used as the above.

Mon coeur (France) is 'my heart', and not used to refer to the organ.

Mon bebe (France) as with the Spanish 'my baby' I have never understood this as a term of endearment, more likely to see it as being referred to as 'immature'.

-et (France) is used as a diminutive at the end of a word to suggest a term of endearment.

-ette (France) another diminutive, this the feminine version.

Mon chou (French) means 'my cabbage' which, apparently, the French do not see as calling someone a 'vegetable'.

Ma moitie (France) or 'my half' is seen as the same as 'my other half' in English, albeit it doesn't quite sound the same as seeing another as part of a pair.

Fragolina (Italy) is to call someone 'little strawberry', not what I'd call a plus but it takes all sorts, so the saying goes.

Stella (Italy) is the word for 'star' and if you see your lover as akin to trillions of exploding hydrogen nuclei, go for it.

Microbino mio (Italy) shows the Italians are really answering the call when it comes to non-translatable terms, for this means 'my little microbe'.

Schatz (Germany) doesn't come across well when vocalised by English-speakers. Neither does the story that Star Trek's William Shatner secretly married Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac, and when the news broke Stevie announced she would henceforth be known as Stevie Shatner-Nicks (unless you say it aloud). For Germans Schatz simply means 'treasure'.

-chen or -lein (Germany) is the German diminutive turning the name or noun into a term of endearment.

Liebling (Germany) literally translates as 'favourite' but is used in the context of 'dear' or maybe 'darling'.

Susse (Germany) means 'sweet' and no explanation required.

Perle (Germany) or 'pearl' seems odd as it's a name in English, but is only like saying someone is a diamond.

Hase (Germany) means 'bunny', not exactly what I'd call a term of endearment, but each to their own.

Knuddlebarchen (Germany) is indeed a compound term and means 'cuddle bear'. And having said we won't have many there is also:

Mausebar (Germany) 'mouse bear', Also:

Mousezahnchen (Germany) 'little mouse tooth' and undoubtedly my favourite:

Honigkuchenpferd (Germany) 'honey-cake horse'.

Mo chuisle (Ireland) 'my pulse' hardly seems like a nice way to describe someone, but perhaps I'm not looking at it from the right angle.

Wee (Ireland) is not really Irish but a dialect word. However, considering it's also used as a synonym for 'urine', I do wonder if it began with someone taking the proverbial.

U-ri gang-a-ji (Korea) is 'my puppy', and one I wouldn't think would work in English.

Amigao (Portugal) means 'big friend' and even I would never have the nerve to woo someone by calling her my 'big friend'.

I'm not going to attempt to use the Chinese characters, but in China 'heart and liver' is considered fitting for this theme. And for the same reason I shall continue with simply quoting the country when different alphabets are used, or sometimes the language, and how they translate to English.

Russia uses 'baby sun', 'little fish', 'little paw', as compliments.

Po-po (Hungary) 'little bumlet', usually accompanied with a friendly pat on that area.

Einayim sheli (Hebrew) 'my eyes' and apparently suggesting the one addressed is precious.

Ya amar (Arabic) doesn't sound too complimentary to me for it translates as 'my moon'.

One Cantonese term suggests 'silly pig' is an acceptable compliment.

Puttemus (Denmark) translates as 'cuddlebug'.

Snoepje (Netherlands) and the meaning is 'little candy'.

Pudingeto is a word from Esperanto and, if we accept this as an official language (I can't see why not) then calling someone 'pudding' is a loving term.

Shagua is a Mandarin term meaning 'fool'. I don't think I'd ever attempt using this.

Taku kairangi is Maori for 'my finest greenstone', and I can't help thinking of copper piping.

Mahal is a Tagalog word and, when used as a term of endearment, still doesn't change the meaning of 'expensive'.

Nefesim (Turkey) is another translation which makes the idea of referring to someone as 'my breath' rather odd - especially if they haven't brushed their teeth.

Minh em (Vietnam) and it translates as 'myself' which surely speaks more of the speaker than anyone.

Nha em (Vietnam) and although this translates as 'my home' is said to be a reference to the spouse.

Anh em (Vietnam) and is used by a wife to her husband, to describe him as older - even if he isn't.

Anata (Japan) and this has to be my favourite of the lot, for this simply means 'you'.

Doubtless I shall get complaints regarding some of my spellings, and doubtless I shall ignore them.

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