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Q: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   12 Comments )
Subject: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: vamvuu-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 11 Nov 2002 19:50 PST
Expires: 11 Dec 2002 19:50 PST
Question ID: 105794
I'm looking for the word 'grandmother' or 'grandma' translated to as
many languages as possible.  Current or dead languages are acceptable.
 If there is an ambiguity in pronunciation, please include phonetic
spelling if possible. If the language is obscure, please include the
location/origin of the language.  An acceptable answer would include
at least 50 different languages.
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
Answered By: tar_heel_v-ga on 11 Nov 2002 21:51 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I have to say, researching this question was one of the most
interesting jobs I have done while here.  I had a resource (posted at
bottom) to find translations and thought 50 would be a breeze. 
Needless to say, it was more than I thought, but it was EXTREMELY
interesting to the different languages out there and how different,
yet similar they are.  Below is the word "Grandmother" in over 50
languages.  In cases where there were multiple words, I chose the
first listing, and where possible, did a reverse translation back into
English to verify the word.

Afrikaans       ouma
Albanian	gjyshe
Basque          amona
Belarusen	babka
Bisaya (dialect of the Philippines)	apohan nga babaye
Bulgarian	баба (baba)
Cebuano		apohang babae
Cheyenne (Native American)		Neške'e
Croatian	baba
Czech		babicka
Danish		bedstemoder 
Dutch		grootmoeder
Esperanto	avino
Estonian	vanaema
Finnish		mummo
French		grand-mre
Frisian (spoken in Germany and the Netherlands)	beppe
Gaelic		seanmhair
Galician (romance language similar to Portugues)       avoa
German		Oma
Greek		gigia
Guarani (Spoken in Paraguay and in adjacent portions of Argentina,
Brazil, and Bolivia)	jari
Hawiian		Kupuna wahine
Hungarian	nagyanya 
Ilongo (Philippine Dialect)lola
Indonesian	nenek
IupiaQ (Eskimo Dialect)aanaga
Italian		nonna
Kamilaroi/ Gamilaraay (Australian Aboriginal)	bathii
Latin		Avunculus
Maltese		nanna
Mapunzugun      kuku
Maori		kuia
Odawa (Canadian Indian)		nookmis
Ojibwe (Canadian Indian)	nookomis
Polish		BABKA
Portuguese	av 
Romanian	BUNICA
Sanskrit	mAtRka
Slovenian	stara mama
Spanish		Abuela
Swahili		bibi
Swedish		FARMOR
Tagalog		nuno
Tibetan		a phyi 
Ukranian	babusia
Urdu		dadi
Vietnamese	danh từ
Wagiman (Australian Aboriginal language)		ngal-ngabuju
Xhosa (Language spoken Southeastern South Africa)	umakhulu
Yiddish		BOBE
Thanks again for a very interesting question.  If you need any
additional clarification, please let me know.





Clarification of Answer by tar_heel_v-ga on 11 Nov 2002 22:04 PST
It looks as if Bulgarian and Vietnamese did not cut and paste from my
spreadsheet very well.

Bulgarian: baba
Vietnamese: danh tu

Clarification of Answer by tar_heel_v-ga on 12 Nov 2002 05:59 PST
Thanks to my fellow researcher regarding the Vietnamese translation. 
Apparently, I chose the wrong word.  Here are the proper Vietnamese
translatations and a big thanks out to Secret901-GA!

maternal grandmother: ba` ngoa.i 
paternal grandmother: ba` n.i

Clarification of Answer by tar_heel_v-ga on 12 Nov 2002 06:28 PST

Your question has taught me first hand what many have told me in the
past, yet I guess I didn't listen: Online translators are tough. :)

It has been brought to my attention that the correct Latin term for
grandmother is avia.  The word I provided was for uncle.


vamvuu-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Excellent work!  This is just what I am looking for.  Thank you
tar_heel_v and thanks to all the folks who've commented!

Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: aditya2k-ga on 11 Nov 2002 23:05 PST
I will add a few in some Indian languages I know

Hindi - Daadima (Daa-dee-maa, both d's pronunced like the d in Saddam)
Telugu - Nainama (ai pronunced like si in sight) (na - the second 'na'
in banana) (ma - maa)
Gujrati - daadi (daa-dee - for dad's mother)or naani (naa-nee - mom's
Tamil - Pathi (paa-tee)

Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: tox-ga on 11 Nov 2002 23:27 PST
Cantonese - po po
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: hailstorm-ga on 11 Nov 2002 23:58 PST
Japanese: Obaasan, Baba, Sobo.

Note the long "a" in "Obaasan". A short "a", like "Obasan", means aunt.
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: secret901-ga on 12 Nov 2002 02:31 PST
FYI: The Vietnamese translation means "noun," not "grandmother."
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: mother-ga on 12 Nov 2002 19:05 PST
My kids call their Greek grandmother Yaya (or Yiyia). Gigia is the
translation of the Greek Gamma-iota-gamma-iota-alpha (), and in
this case gamma is pronounced "y" as in "yet." Hope this helps!
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: guybrush152-ga on 12 Nov 2002 22:31 PST
in Malay, its nenek
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 13 Nov 2002 07:09 PST
In indonesian NENEK maybe grandmother but my daughter calls her
Indonesian grandmother OMA as we would call a grandmother "granny". At
least I think thats how it is. My indonesian wife certainly told me
that indonesian kids routinely call their grandmothers OMA and I never
questioned it.
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: vamvuu-ga on 13 Nov 2002 16:58 PST
Thank you for all of the comments, friends!  I'll add two that I

In Shona, you say 'Ambuya'.  Shona is spoken mainly in Zimbabwe and
other neighboring southern African countries.  In Chichewa, it's
'Agogo'.  I learned that from a Malawian friend.
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: bobbie7-ga on 13 Nov 2002 20:05 PST

I just want to add that in Hebrew grandmother is Savtah.

Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: tar_heel_v-ga on 15 Nov 2002 07:48 PST

Thank you very much for the rating and your generous tip.  I am glad
we could all help!

Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: feilong-ga on 17 Nov 2002 10:37 PST
I hope THV won't mind if I correct "nuno" as Tagalog for grandmother.

"Nuno" means "old folk" or "elder". It can sometimes mean the origin of someone.

The Philippine words for grandmother are:


-- Feilong
Subject: Re: translation of 'Grandma' or 'Grandmother' in various languages
From: olly2003-ga on 01 Jan 2003 04:12 PST
A few "grandmother" words from Australian Aboriginal languages

aka - Torres Strait Creole
aperlangkwe - Eastern Arrente - Your father's mother
aperlatye - Eastern Arrente - My/Our father's mother
aperle - Eastern Arrente -  Father's mother (also her siblings)
aperlikwe - Eastern Arrente - His/Her/Their father's mother
baadhin - Wiradjuri
dheman - Nyungar
gami - Bundjalung
gawarli - Yindjibarndi
jaja - Gooniyandi

For more info see the book  "Macquarie Aboriginal Words" (1994) IBSN 0 949757 79 9

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