Motherly “M”

Published 15th August 2011
post thumbnail

Motherly “M”

As infants, our first and most long-lasting relationships will be, more often than not, with our mothers. When babies start on the road towards language acquisition, one of the first sounds a baby can produce is M. One of the three labial consonants. Derived from the Latin for lips, these sounds are relatively easy for children to replicate. They do not require any tricky tongue or tooth manoeuvres. Perfect for beginners. So is it really any surprise that so many world languages feature the letter M when referring to dear old Mum?

This much becomes apparent by simply looking at a handful of languages that have very little in common with each other. We have Mandarin Chinese ma, Hindi maa, Vietnamese me, Malay ema, Basue ama and Quechua ma. This is also true of many members of the Indo-European family of languages. These include ancient Sanskrit matr, ancient Greek meter, modern Farsi madar, Irish máthair, Russian mat, Polish matka, Dutch moeder, Danish moder, ancient Latin mater, Spanish madre, French mère and German Mutter.

Whether this is an innate feature of our human consciousness or a learnt process is still hotly contested with compelling evidence from both camps. Either way, it certainly makes you think about the quirks of human language.

Let’s not forget about Mmmm… I guess a spin off from the word yum, but a word in it’s own right. Chances are you will hum this word after a spectacular meal!

So let’s hear it for magnificent and marvellous mothers, mums, moms, mamas and mummies everywhere! If you can find any more variations of mother featuring the letter M, please share below!

For more information about the range of language-related services, please visit the professional translation services page of our website.


disney-institute-lingua-translations 178 × 75
amazon-lingua-translations 120 × 28
procter-gamble - Lingua Translations 114 × 92
london-partners-lingua-translations 154 × 101
Swansea City | Lingua Translations 154 x 146
Man City | Lingua Translations 154 × 154
FC_Barcelona_(crest) 154 × 156
Star_Wars_Logo.svg_-1 1280 × 773
FiFA | lingua Translations 154 × 86
The-Score 232x120
M & S 271 × 186
Walmart-Lingua Translations 232 × 65
Welsh Government & Lingua Translations 400 × 400
Costco & Lingua Translations 232 × 155


TUI-Group Testimonial 205 × 46 EN

Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

Do you know how many different languages Ed Sheeran has sung in?

It’s no secret that Ed Sheeran wrote his latest album while traveling the world and soaking up different cultures and styles of music. But he went further than that. He also isn’t afraid to delve into the world of languages either. What’s most impressive is his commitment to getting the foreign lyrics and their pronunciation …

Read More

International French Fries Day

Today is one of the best day of the year: the international French Fries Day. But let’s find out something about most people’s favourite guilty pleasure. Apparently, French fries are not French at all. Their origin can be tracked back to Belgium, where potatoes were allegedly being fried in the late-1600s. The legend says that …

Read More
Get a quote today