Sukuhov Liberté (sukuhov) wrote in linguaphiles,
Sukuhov Liberté

Translating names of different spieces...

Er, I don't know if this was asked before, but I was wondering about it and it's been driving me nuts.

Basically, every language has their own word for animals like cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, etc, right? All the common every day animals that most countries have. And then there's animals like rhinos and tigers that aren't exactly in every continent, and different languages make up their own word for tigers that sort of fit the equivalent or just borrow it from some other language, I'm guessing.

But then you have the unusual animals, found through research in the Amazon or digging up dinosaur bones or in some scientific lab. Like Triceratops and the Big T-rex, that huge yellow acid spitting toad in the rain forest (er, I hope they don't actually have those...) and bacteria that grows on cheese, and whatever unusual creatures that... seem to take a scientific name or get named after the scientist who discovered them. Things like that.

I was wondering how other languages handled these names. Some names are Latin based like the scientific classification ones (homo-sapien, canis familiaris, etc) and those are just universal, I assume. What about the name Deinonychus? Does that dinosaur have the same name in every language, or are they constantly making their own words to represent these thousands of different critters that get discovered everyday? That seems rather maddening when they could just "borrow" the name, maybe with slight alterations to fit with their language structure, and call it good enough.

Maybe I just answered my own question, I don't know. It's something that's always sort of nagged me in the corner of my mind is all, and if Tyrannosaurs was in my language dictionaries maybe I wouldn't be asking this question.

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