View Full Version : More on "Do other languages call Earth 'Earth'?"

09-21-2004, 09:18 AM
Link: https://academicpursuits.us/mailbag/mearth.html

I have to say (sorry Jill) that this was a pretty shoddily answered question. As I understand it, the questioner wanted to know whether other languages used the same word for our home planet as they use for the soil under your feet.

The reply does not really address this.

First, there is the "mondiale" slip-up, thanks to using an online translator that does not differentiate between "world" (noun) and "world" (adjective) -- online translator, Jill? Surely a proper dictionary would be better? Second, she does not tell us whether each of the words she gives us also means "soil" or "earth" as well as "Earth".

A better approach, IMHO, would have been to give a table comparing the word for "soil" with the word for (planet) "Earth" in each language. For example:

French......la terre..........la Terre
German.....die Erde........die Erde
Spanish.....la tierra.........la tierra

This would have been much more informative, and better answered the main thrust of the question.

John W. Kennedy
09-21-2004, 06:53 PM
There are two further problems. First, the words "world" and "monde" actually mean something close to "universe" (or, archaically, "era", as in "world without end"). Second, all living languages were formed long before the concept of the Earth as a planet among other planets set in.

12-16-2004, 09:45 AM
I noticed something funny: One of the languages in the original answer is Swedish, where the word "mull" can only be used for earth (as in soil). The word "jord" however, can be taken to mean either soil or our planet.

OK, it wasn't all that funny, but I did notice it...

12-16-2004, 01:15 PM
More on = moron


12-21-2004, 08:19 AM
More on = moron

Come again?

I thought this was a perfectly valid critique of the article, which IMO missed the whole point of the original question and didn't do much to Fight IgnoranceTM.

12-27-2004, 12:57 AM
Thanks for posting this, I missed that Staff Report.

I can't vouch for the other listsings, but Jill's listing for Japanese mixes together the words for 'dirt' and 'planet Earth'.

dirt, soil = tsuchi
Earth = chikyuu, aasu (the latter being a katakana-zation of the English "Earth")

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