New Interactive Map Displays Translations of English Words in Other European Languages

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Always wanted to know how to say ‘interpreter’ in Croatian? Now, there is a great new visual way to discover the translations of English words in the languages spoken around the European continent!

Business Insider recently pointed out a great new website – a map which displays the translations of English words for almost every European country.

According to Business Insider, the map was created by James Timble, for works for UK Data Explorer.

By using Google Translate and Javascript, the postgrad computer science student created and interactive map on which you can see the equivalents of English words in the European country they are used. Apparently, he used the /r/ etymology maps subreddit as an inspiration for this.

Of course, we at Kwintessential were very keen to try out this nifty little map! Here are a number of interesting maps for words that have to do with translation, interpreting and intercultural training.

Of course, the very first word we entered was ‘translation.’ This resulted in a number of words that looked very similar to the English one, such as the French ‘traduction,’ but also in words which did not appear to have any relation with their English counterpart. What to think of the Finnish ‘käännös,’ or example?


Next, we tried the word ‘interpreter.’ Most translations of this words seem to fall into two categories: words that stem from the same source as the English one, such as the Portuguese ‘intérprete,’ and translations that share their source with the Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian ‘tolk,’ such as the Latvian ‘tulks.’ The odd one out seems to be the German language, that uses the word ‘Dolmetscher’ for someone that is involved in the interpreting business.

All of the countries in Europe of course have different cultures, so why not try the word ‘multicultural’ as well? Out of the three words we entered, this one seems to yield the most uniform results. Of course, the prefix ‘multi’ is different in different languages – in Polish, it is ‘wielo-,’ for example – but you can see the resemblance with the English word ‘culture’ in many different languages. In Slovenian, for example, the world for ‘multicultural’ is ‘multikulturni,’ and in Turkish, it is ‘kültürlü.’


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