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Is Earth always Earth?

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outcast
Bilingual Heptaglot
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 Message 1 of 21
24 May 2014 at 4:09am | IP Logged 
Yes, weird title and weird question. But is Earth, the planet, or the concept of "world" always "Earth"?

There must be languages where Earth is not earth, but maybe "Forest" or "Green" or "Sand", or "Water/ice"??

I was thinking of this all day so I had to ask here.

Edited by Fasulye on 26 May 2014 at 8:34pm

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Serpent
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 Message 2 of 21
24 May 2014 at 6:00am | IP Logged 
I'm not sure what on Earth you're asking ;) In Russian, Earth and ground (as in soil) are the same word. But if we say "world" we think of the planet, not the soil.

Edited by Serpent on 24 May 2014 at 6:00am

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Doitsujin
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 Message 3 of 21
24 May 2014 at 6:29am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
In Russian, Earth and ground (as in soil) are the same word. But if we say "world" we think of the planet, not the soil.

It's exactly the same in German and Arabic:

Erde = earth & soil; Welt = world
أرض [ʾarḍ]= earth & soil; عالم [ʿālam] = world

EDIT: After seeing Cabaire's post I remembered that Arabic أَرْضٌ [arḍ] = earth/soil is a cognate of Classical Hebrew אֶרֶץ [areṣ]. It's also the same word used in the name of well-known Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz ("ha" is the definite article).

I looked up عَالَمٌ [alam] = world and found out that it's a cognate of Classical Hebrew עוֹלָם [ʿolam] = forever (in the Bible). It's also used with the meaning "world" in the Mishnah and other ancient texts.


Edited by Doitsujin on 24 May 2014 at 8:25pm

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hjordis
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 Message 4 of 21
24 May 2014 at 7:41am | IP Logged 
Yeah, "earth" certainly isn't related to the word for "world" in all languages. Maybe
you were thinking of Spanish, or just trying to distinguish the two meanings of earth?

In Japanese they aren't the same, but are related.

For the planet Earth: 地球 (chikyuu)
For soil, I'd usually say: 土 (tsuchi)
However, ”地” has to do with earth and is used in compounds involving it, including:
土地 (tochi) which I didn't actually know before, but apparently means land or soil.
(It looks like it's similar in Mandarin).

If I put those three into Google translate and try different languages, most of them
will have the first one matching with at least one of the others if you click to see
more options.

However, whereas with most languages you can match the first two and sometimes also the
third, a few languages have the first and third matching, but you can't match the
second one even by checking other options. These are: Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian,
Polish, Czech, and Slovak (that I've found).

Also while you can match all 3 in Swahili, the default translation is different for all
3.

This may all just be a quirk of Google translate. Perhaps somebody who knows one of
those languages or who knows Japanese better than I do can enlighten us. :D I'll be
interested to see if anybody knows a language where they aren't related at all.

Edited by hjordis on 24 May 2014 at 7:48am

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eyðimörk
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 Message 5 of 21
24 May 2014 at 9:44am | IP Logged 
While I can't speak for all languages, I can verify that this is the case with my languages:

Swedish: jorden (soil), Jorden (planet Earth)

French: la terre (soil/land/ground), la Terre (planet Earth)

Breton: an douar (soil), an Douar (planet Earth)

I suspect most languages have the same name like this simply because I suspect few cultures have independently come to realise that that Earth is a planet like any other and then independently develop its astronomy to the point where it was strong enough not to be cross-contaminated. If Tellus/tellus is Earth/earth in Latin, then it's highly likely that this is the case for at least all European languages.
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tarvos
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 Message 6 of 21
24 May 2014 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
Aarde vs wereld in Dutch
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eyðimörk
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 Message 7 of 21
24 May 2014 at 10:16am | IP Logged 
Have I completely misunderstood the question? The only way I can interpret it, especially given the title, is:

Is earth (meaning: soil) always the same as Earth (meaning: world, i.e. the planet) in all languages?

Edited by eyðimörk on 24 May 2014 at 10:18am

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Cabaire
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 Message 8 of 21
24 May 2014 at 10:16am | IP Logged 
In Hebrew ארץ is land, earth, country, but אדמה is soil, the ground. The latter has the root of the colour red in it, because it denotes "the red arable ground" and gives birth also to the name for "man" (אדם). But even ארץ has sometimes been used as "field" (Gn23,15, Ex23,10) or "soil" (Gn18,2, 19,1).
No escape from the connection.


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