February 21, 2017, by International students

Favourite words for International Mother Language Day

21 February is International Mother Language Day, a global observance established by the United Nations to recognise and  celebrate the world’s diversity of cultures and languages.

To celebrate the many nationalities, cultures and languages which makeup our student community at Nottingham, we invited our students, friends and followers to share a favourite word from their native language (or any other languages they know). You can join is by tweeting your favourite word to us @UoNIntOffice with the hashtag #InternationalMotherLanguageDay or post a comment on our International Office Facebook page.

Here are a few examples.

Abm: As a Bangladeshi I am proudful to establish this day and it’s importance…….. And my heartful thanks to The University of Nottingham. My favourite word in Bengali is “valobasha” which means love.

Romina: I’m a native Spanish speaker, my favourite word is “esperanza“, which means “hope“.

André: My favourite word is KitKat in Japanese キットカット which is pronounced KittoKatto

Naa: In Ghana where i come from, we have a number of languages which i barely understand most of…but am good with 2 of them… My favorite word in Ga is kunimyeli and in Twi is nkunim. They both mean success or victory.

Simona: Dor (Romanian): people have always been challenged trying to translate this word in English. As an idea, ‘dor‘ basically means missing someone. However, in Romanian, the word ‘dor’ describes the feeling of hurt that you get when you miss someone, and it is grammatically used in the same way as describing a human need, rather than the action of missing. For example, ‘mi-e foame’, translated word by word, means ‘I feel hungry’. ‘Mi-e dor’ is formed the same way, however, you can’t translate it as ‘I feel missing’, and hence it describes a feeling of pain and upset that there is no English word for. We love this word because it is deep, of a high emotional significance and because we think that only we know its true meaning.

Nephtalí: One of my fav words in Spanish is ‘taciturno‘ which means melancholic, what’s yours?

Sharika: I am from Bangladesh and my favourite word is “ma” which means mother.

Damilola: I’m from Nigeria and my native language is Yoruba. My favourite word is ìfé, which means love.

Ameenah (in reply): Well done Damilola. How to use: “Mo ni ife Ile iwe giga Nottingham in Ilu Geesi” – “I love The University of Nottingham, UK

Maha: I’m from Saudi. My native language is Arabic and my favorite word is سلامsalam” = peace.

Deepesh: Sri Lankan – mother language is Sinhala. Favorite word “machan => good friend“.

Sonali: Being an Indian, my mother tongue is Hindi and my favorite word is “kismat” which means destiny.

Elena: Being Spanish my mother tongue, one of my favorite words is “etéreo“. It means “ethereal, sublime, celestial“. Can’t describe it in just one word.

Vaishnavi: I’m from India, from a state called Karnataka where we speak Kannada and my favourite word is “tayee” which means mother.

Manuel: My favorite word in Spanish is “Sonrisa” which means “Smile“. 

Posted in Cultural integration