The Pineapple Identity - Is English the odd one out?
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The Pineapple Identity – Is English the odd one out?

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Is English wrong?

I was recently looking through the internet looking for interesting and albeit random things to write about when I saw a link to Pineapples.

To the English speakers the word pineapple, sounds perfectly fine. Doesn’t sound wrong at all. But put it against its translation in other countries, and you’ll see something different. We are one of the few languages that doesn’t follow the trend of Pineapple.

As all linguists know, the language tree has various branches, and English is there with the Germanic Language heritage. Whereas French is nestled in with the Latin Language heritage. You can find similarities amongst each branch of languages, but to find the same word make its way through the entire family, just skipping some is quite bizarre. I don’t think I found all the Pineapples, but the list below just shows you the scale of it all.

Pineapple-Ananas crazy!

Amharic

 

አናናስ (ānanasi)

 

Arabic

 

أناناس (‘ananas)

 

Armenian

 

Արքայախնձոր (ananas)

 

Azerbaijani

 

Ananas

 

Danish

 

Ananas

 

Dutch

 

Ananas

 

English

 

Pineapple

 

Esperanto

 

Ananaso

 

Estonian

 

Ananass

 

Finnish

 

Ananas

 

French

 

Ananas

 

German

 

Ananas

 

Georgian

 

Արքայախնձոր (ananasi)

 

Greek

 

ανανάς (ananás)

 

Hebrew

 

אננס (ananás)

 

Hindi

 

अनानास (anaanaas)

 

Hungarian

 

Ananász

 

Icelandic

 

Ananas

 

Indonesian

 

Nanas

 

Italian

 

Ananas

 

Latin

 

Ananas

 

Macedonian

 

Ананас (ananas)

 

Norwegian

 

Ananas

 

Persian

 

آناناس (ananas)

 

Polish

 

ananas

 

Portuguese

 

ananás

 

Romanaian

 

Ananas

 

Russian

 

Ананас (ananás)

 

Sinhala

 

අන්නාසි (annāsi)

 

Swedish

 

Ananas

 

Turkish

 

Ananas

 

 

31 languages – 30 of whom use Ananas or something very similar as their word for this glorious fruit. These languages are from all over the world, and I might’ve missed some out! But not the English, no…. we are Pineapple! I know what you are thinking – looks a lot like our (B)ananas! Maybe this is why we couldn’t adopt the Anana Pineapple version… Maybe it would cause too much confusion. Of course there are some languages which differ from these such as Spanish (piña). But on the whole, we seem to be the odd ones out!

Translation

Julia GrahamAuthor posts

I have a BA in French from Swansea University and spent a year in Toulouse studying at the Université de Toulouse. It’s no surprise that I also love languages! I also speak Welsh as my second language ?I am considered the office organiser as I love to keep things just so and I am also considered to be very much a perfectionist – I fit right in with my fellow language geeks.Every day is fascinating and I love working as part of our team, we are well known for being friendly and of course, we know what we are talking about.

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