11 May, 2008


In Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish, Farsi, Russian, Bulgarian, German, Dutch, Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, Czech, Slovak, Polish and Estonian a pineapple is called "Ananas" or similar.

The fruit hit Europe in the 16th century and the original South American word for it was "Anas", the additional "An" at the beginning being a grammatical notation.

Why is English the only language that doesn't call it ananas? I mean, pineapple makes logical sense - tastes like apple, looks like a pine - but why are we the only ones who decided to change it?

I'd be interested to know what it's called in Basque, Finnish and Roumanian as I believe that those three languages are some of the most unique in Europe and don't share their root with the Indo-European language upon which most other languages in the region are based.


Android said...

According to Translate.Google (and another site),

Finnish: ananas
Romanian - ananas
Basque - anana

In Castellano, pineapple can also be referred to as 'piña' :)

Swiss Tony said...

But what do they call bananas?

Miss Middle of Manchester said...

From the looks of it (http://www.answers.com/topic/banana) all the countries listed call ied banana or similar.

Even scripts I can't read (Russian, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese etc) have a single letter/sound at the beginning followed by two repeated sounds which suggests they are the same too!

My curiosity on pineapples isn't so much that the rest of the world has the same name for them, but that English has a different one.

Swiss Tony said...

Missy, I think both fruits are distictly different in colour, shape, taste, texture and smell. Therefore they require a distinctly different name.

Looks like just another example of us leading the world. One day they will catch up, but in the meantime rest assured we are right, they are wrong.


Miss Middle of Manchester said...

Naturally our naming system is the right one. What kind of crazy individual could believe anything else? ;)