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Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:22 am UTC
by Sungura
Hey, so maybe it's obvious by my avator and siggie, but in case it's not, I'll just say it. I breed & show Holland Lop (rabbits) and for litters, I do themes for the names. I've been thinking it would be neat to do a whole bunch of languages (the more obscure the better!) but the meaning of the word is "rabbit". So...if you know what "rabbit" is in any language other than English, Yoruba, Swahili, and Afrikaans (oh yeah, and spanish) can you post it here?

Also, if anyone has ideas for other themes you can include :) The nerdier/geekier the better!

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:55 pm UTC
by tiny
In German it's Hase, Kaninchen, Karnickel or Rammler (this last one's for male rabbits only).

You could try Babelfish to find more: http://babelfish.altavista.com/

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:05 pm UTC
by hyperion
French: (un) lapin

*flex*

EDIT: you can find a bunch of other languages here:
http://www.rabbit.org/links/translate.html
Careful though, it's a terribly designed page.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:19 pm UTC
by Owehn
Is it wrong that my first thought on seeing this thread was "gavagai"?

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:01 pm UTC
by Silas
Russian: заиц (zaits, two syllables). More of a hare than a rabbit, but close enough, I think. There's a children's cartoon, Ну, Походи (Nu, Pokhodi; "Just you wait") featuring a zaits who bears a suspicious resemblance to a certain cartoon of American provenance. He's pursued by a wolf; when the hare escapes, the wolf's line is "ну, заиц, ну походи" (Nu, zaits, nu, poxodi; "just you wait, rabbit").

(there may be minor misquotes or spelling errors in the rest, but заиц is correctly written.)

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:00 pm UTC
by Sungura
Cool thanks. Yeah I know of the babelfish thing but the characters that other languages use don't help me pronounce them! And they only have the common languages.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:22 pm UTC
by Supergrunch
Well in Japanese it's "usagi" (ウサギ), pronounced "oosaggy".

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:12 pm UTC
by windshrike
I can't type the characters(lacking the font), but in Malayalam it'd be pronounced 'Muyal'.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:06 am UTC
by nevskey1
Yeah, заиц is actually "hare." "Rabbit" in Russian is кролик (krolyik -- the "l" is soft). But I don't really know the distinction in any case and just use them interchangeably in both languages.

@Silas: Good call on Ну, Походи. I used to love that show like nothing else.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:18 am UTC
by stevekl
In Czech, it's králik, you can see the similarity to the Russian above. I remember this word from the wonderful version of Alice in Wonderland by Jan Svankmeyer a stop-action animator and the director of recent Oscar winner Little Otik. (I think it's called Alenka -- nope, IMDB says Neco z Alenky, roughly Something from Alice), in which the rabbit, of course, figures in quite prominently. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095715/

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:38 am UTC
by tetromino
Silas wrote:Russian: заиц (zaits, two syllables). More of a hare than a rabbit, but close enough, I think. There's a children's cartoon, Ну, Походи (Nu, Pokhodi; "Just you wait") featuring a zaits who bears a suspicious resemblance to a certain cartoon of American provenance. He's pursued by a wolf; when the hare escapes, the wolf's line is "ну, заиц, ну походи" (Nu, zaits, nu, poxodi; "just you wait, rabbit").

(there may be minor misquotes or spelling errors in the rest, but заиц is correctly written.)

Oh, good God, no...

1. It's заяц. ЗАЯЦ. Which is to say, "zayats" (or zayac, if you so prefer) in Latin transcription.
2. The cartoon is called ну погоди ("just wait"). What you wrote (ну походи) would mean "go take a walk".
3. You are on the internet. There is no excuse for not using a dictionary.

Now, as for the original question, rabbits.
A male adult rabbit is кролик (krolik), as has been already pointed out. His female companion would be крольчиха (krol'chiha). One of their cute little offspring would be called крольченок (or крольчёнок, if you are writing for children), or krol'chyonok in the Latin alphabet. (In the above transcriptions, the apostrophe denotes palatalization.)

IIRC, in Ukrainian, the male rabbit is also spelled the same way (кролик). Not sure about the female/young though.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:41 am UTC
by Zak
=P

In spanish it's Conejo, but the j sounds like an h.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:52 am UTC
by Razzle Storm
Mandarin Chinese is 兔子(tu4zi), which would be pronounced (assuming you're an English speaker) like too zze (that's as close as I can get).

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:42 am UTC
by evilbeanfiend
the welsh is apparently cwningen, which i think would be pronounced kooningen

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:45 pm UTC
by Asleep or Wrong
hyperion wrote:EDIT: you can find a bunch of other languages here:
http://www.rabbit.org/links/translate.html
Careful though, it's a terribly designed page.

That this page exists is extremely worrying.

Ainu call hares "isepo" (lit: "little squealer") and I suppose they'd do the same for rabbits.
edit: I saw examples of the word "kisar" (related to the word for ear?) for rabbit, and "isepo" for rabbit. Not sure which would be the most common though.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:33 pm UTC
by stevekl
This is why language is cool. The Welsh words look enough like other languages' words for "king" (like German König). The Czech word for king is král -- and ek/ik is a dimunitive, so possibly "rabbit" - králik - might be "little king". Not having a Czech etymological dictionary handy, who knows.

Of course, the Welsh word for king (according to online translations I find) is nothing at all like this; this is how folk etymologies, which are almost always wrong, start. Still, it's interesting.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
by nevskey1
And the Russian word for "king" is король (korol' -- again, soft 'l' at the end). Compare that to "rabbit" being krolyik (Latinized spelling). Oddly, I noticed this and gave it a brief thought last night, but now seeing the same thing in other languages as well certainly makes it more interesting. I wonder what the connection is. Anyone have any ideas? Or is it just coincidence?

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:17 pm UTC
by stevekl
Well the fact that Russian and Czech both do that isn't surprising as they're both Slavic languages and a good deal of their word stock is related. The Welsh thing doesn't exhibit this phenomenon at all : it just *looks* like something that *could* have a connection, but upon closer examination, doesn't actually appear to.

I don't have a Slavic etymological dictionary, so I can't say ultimately what the connection (if any) between Slavic rabbits and kings are.

And, to contribute to the thread, according to a Dutch Dictionary on my shelf, the Dutch word for rabbit is konijn. And I realize now that this also has nothing to do with king, but rather it (and perhaps the Welsh word) could well be related to the English coney, which is another word for rabbit, the etymology of which, per the American Heritage Dictionary, is Middle English coni, from Old French conis, pl. of conil, from Latin cunīculus, possibly from cunnus, cunus, female pudenda.]

My initial thought on seeing the Welsh transliteration erroneously went to German Konig instead of English coney, no doubt because I was thinking about the Czech thing.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:38 pm UTC
by tetromino
The Slavic words for "king" (Russian король (korol'), Polish król, Czech král etc.) are all formed from the name Charlemagne (in Latin, Carolus Magnus), who was a major badass Frankish king back in the Dark Ages.

Now, the etymology for "krolik" is a bit more interesting. As far as I know, the story is as follows.

Back in the Middle Ages, the German word for "king" was spelled künik (in modern German, it's König). Now, the medieval Germans also borrowed the Latin word for "rabbit" (cuniculus). In modern German, it's spelled Kaninchen, but back then it was sometimes transcribed as küniklin - which just so happens to be the diminutive for künik. So some medieval Polish scribe was translating a German book, and saw the word küniklin. Naturally, he thought it meant "little king", and so translated it as królik ("little king" in Polish). Then Czech, Russian, Ukrainian etc. all borrowed the Polish word some years later. Which is why Slavic rabbits all sound like wannabe kings.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:58 pm UTC
by nevskey1
Indeed stevekl is absolutely right, language is cool. One possible history leads to a confused cunilingus (*tongue pushes cheek*), and another to transliterally usurping middle-aged rabbits (*cheek pushes tongue*). Either way, with these as only the intial scent trails, we shan't be running short on entertainment for some time.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:20 pm UTC
by stevekl
tetromino wrote:So some medieval Polish scribe was translating a German book, and saw the word küniklin. Naturally, he thought it meant "little king", and so translated it as królik ("little king" in Polish). Then Czech, Russian, Ukrainian etc. all borrowed the Polish word some years later. Which is why Slavic rabbits all sound like wannabe kings.


That's very cool. I was curious why the Czech word ended in -ik, when -ek is the more common diminutive in Czech, and there you go : a borrowing from Polish instead of having undergone a sound change in the trek from Old Church Slavonic to Czech. I like how innocent topics end up unearthing really intriguing information.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:10 pm UTC
by zenten
A Latvian friend of mine wrote: "The proper Latvian word for "rabbit" is "trusis". Though I've never heard it used personally - the word we always use is "zaķis", which is the word for "hare"."

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:37 pm UTC
by Kizyr
Supergrunch wrote:Well in Japanese it's "usagi" (ウサギ), pronounced "oosaggy".


Just a slight correction... It's ordinarily not written in katakana.
You'd either use hiragana, or kanji:
うさぎ


KF

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:18 pm UTC
by Sungura
Cool thanks! I'm getting a list going of languages now - and thanks for the kanji and hiragana!

I have a question though, what is palatalization?

I have no clue :oops:

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:58 pm UTC
by SpitValve
In Thai it's กระต่าย.

It's sort of like "gruh die", while "die" sounds like the english word that is spelt the same way. The "gruh" is short and the "die" is long. Conveniently, the tones for both syllables are "low" tones, so you can pretty much just say it straight.

To be more accurate, the "d" represented by ต isn't exactly the same as an English d, I think it's unaspirated or something. It's written as a "dt" sometimes.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:10 am UTC
by steewi
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rabbit has a bunch of untested translations (citation needed?). From my first glance, I'd say you could use most of them without too much worry, especially if you don't mind a couple of hares creeping in. A lot of them have romanisations.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:41 am UTC
by Silas
tetromino wrote:Oh, good God, no...

1. It's заяц. ЗАЯЦ. Which is to say, "zayats" (or zayac, if you so prefer) in Latin transcription.
2. The cartoon is called ну погоди ("just wait"). What you wrote (ну походи) would mean "go take a walk".
3. You are on the internet. There is no excuse for not using a dictionary.


You're right (my Langenscheidt confirms). I'm confused, and ashamed of the sheer wrong-ness, and apologize to all. I wish I could say it was late, but the time-stamp shows it was just 9:00. (1) still upsets me, because it'd been in my mind as a word that I just knew- it's like being told, 'no, stop signs have six sides,' going to check, and finding out you've been wrong for years. (2) is annoying- I thought it was misspelled (thus the disclaimer), but couldn't put my finger on it; I should have caught it. I can only dispute (3): yandex is news to me, Rambler is a pain in the ass, I'd spent longer on the post than I'd meant to, already, and I was (however it came to pass) confident in the other spelling.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:34 am UTC
by stevekl
amysrabbitranch wrote:I have a question though, what is palatalization?


A palatal consonant is one that is articulated with the front of the tongue against the hard palate. Palatalization is the articulation of sound in this manner. If you palatalize a consonant such as [t], what comes out is something like the 't' sound followed by the 'y' sound (IPA [j]) of 'yes'. If you say 'tune' like 'tyoon' [tjun], you've palatalized the 't'.

Palatalization is an important part of Russian phonology.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:58 am UTC
by bridge
In italian is coniglio

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:36 pm UTC
by nevskey1
A common example of palatalizing in English is the word "mingon," as in "fillet." (Well, it's not English, but you get the idea.) The consonant "n" is pronounced "softly," which is what I've been calling it instead of "palatalized." (In Russian it really is called a soft consonant, and there's actually a soft sign, i.e., one that makes the consonant it follows soft.)

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:54 am UTC
by Sungura
nevskey1 wrote:A common example of palatalizing in English is the word "mingon," as in "fillet." (Well, it's not English, but you get the idea.) The consonant "n" is pronounced "softly," which is what I've been calling it instead of "palatalized." (In Russian it really is called a soft consonant, and there's actually a soft sign, i.e., one that makes the consonant it follows soft.)


Ah okay this makes sense. Usually if I can hear something pronounced a few times I can do it, it's just harder to read it! (Except rolling my R's...or in my African music class right now learning some words in Zulu...the clicks screw me up!)

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:05 am UTC
by Supergrunch
Kizyr wrote:
Supergrunch wrote:Well in Japanese it's "usagi" (ウサギ), pronounced "oosaggy".


Just a slight correction... It's ordinarily not written in katakana.
You'd either use hiragana, or kanji:
うさぎ


KF

I was going by the WWWJDIC entry, which is "兎(P); 兔 【うさぎ(P); ウサギ】 (n) (uk) rabbit; hare; cony; (P)", uk meaning usually kana. I'm pretty sure I've seen it written in katakana before, but not in kanji or hiragana, and it was given in the dictionary, so that's what I went with.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:11 am UTC
by Kizyr
Supergrunch wrote:I was going by the WWWJDIC entry, which is "兎(P); 兔 【うさぎ(P); ウサギ】 (n) (uk) rabbit; hare; cony; (P)", uk meaning usually kana. I'm pretty sure I've seen it written in katakana before, but not in kanji or hiragana, and it was given in the dictionary, so that's what I went with.

Kana refers to both hiragana and katakana, not just the latter. Katakana is also often used as a replacement for kanji when the kanji is a bit complicated. WWWJDIC is good, but it does give more information than you'll typically need; so, using it involves picking out what's common or uncommon usage, and what's appropriate for the given purpose, which aren't always the same thing. KF

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:22 am UTC
by Bobber
In Danish the word for rabbit is "Kanin".
The word for hare is "hare", but pronounced radically different.
It's pronounced more like hare in "hare krishna". If you prounounce it properly, at least.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:45 pm UTC
by Kewangji
It's kanin in Swedish as well. [K'neen].

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:21 pm UTC
by apricity
bridge wrote:In italian is coniglio

And it's pronounced "cohn-eel-yo". The "igli" sound in Italian sounds like the "illi" in "million".

In the book Watership Down, they don't really have their own word for rabbit, but their word for doe is "marli." It would be cool if you named one of the females that! By the way, if you haven't read it, you'd love it if you love rabbits.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:25 pm UTC
by hnooch
Owehn wrote:Is it wrong that my first thought on seeing this thread was "gavagai"?

I second "gavagai." For those who haven't caught the reference, it's a famous example in Quine's Indeterminacy of Translation.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:21 pm UTC
by starn
In Irish it'd be "coinín" pronounced /'kwɪn.iːn/ or "kwin-een". Fairly similar to the Welsh, obviously, and a few others I think.

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:33 am UTC
by ZLVT
In hungarian (magyar) it's nyúl (which is also the word for "he/she/it reaches/stretches [for]") pronounced new-l so like the english word "new" but the ew is longer, and deeper in the throat.

we also use "nyuszi" which is bunny. The u is like the oo in "oops" but it's short and 'sz' would be 's' in English. the 'i' is like in most euro languages.

EDIT: IPA
/ɲu:l/ and /ɲusi/

Re: Saying "rabbit" in other languages

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:52 pm UTC
by GodShapedBullet
Owehn wrote:Is it wrong that my first thought on seeing this thread was "gavagai"?


That was my first thought too. Then I remembered that "gavagai" meant "undetached rabbit parts".

"Sasa" is Marathi for rabbit. It's pronounced something like suh-sah.