Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    While exploring the concept of hiddenness, I came across the word tane in Japanese, which seems to refer to both 'seed' and 'kernel', and 'secret' (see this article, which I have not read yet). Intriguing.

    How do you translate 'a secret' in your language? Of course 'kind-of metaphors' are very welcome !

    Dutch: het geheim (which seems related with the English home)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  2. ancalimon Senior Member


    giz, gizli, gizem <*gīŕ (secret, hidden, mystery, enigma)
    sır (secret)
    saklı (hidden)
    kapalı (closed, hidden, concealed, unknown)
    bilinmeyen (unknown)

    There are many other words that can be used as a secret. These are the more obvious ones.
  3. arielipi Senior Member

    סוד sod secret
    רז raz secret(h.register)
    חבוי khavuy hidden
    מוסתר mustar ""
    מוחבא mukhba ""
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Secret: «Μυστικό» [misti'ko] (neut. noun) < Classical adj. «μυστικός, -κὴ, -κόν» mŭstikós (masc.), mŭstikḕ (fem.), mŭstikón (neut.) --> connected with the mysteries, private, secret < v. «μυέω/μυῶ» mŭéō (uncontracted) / muô (contracted) --> to initiate into the mysteries; its root is the onomatopoeic «μυ-» mu-, the loud sucking sound.
    «Ἐν κρυπτῷ» ĕn kru'ptǭ (in modern pronunciation, [en kri'pto]) --> in secret < Classical v. «κρύπτω» krúptō --> to cover, conceal (PIE *krāu-, to conceal cf OI crau, Ger. Gruft).
    «Ἐν κρυπτῷ καὶ Παραβύστῳ» ĕn kru'ptǭ kǽ Părăbústǭ (in modern pronunciation, [en kri'pto ce para'visto]) --> in secret and in obscure < «Παράβυστος» Părắbustŏs was an Athenian law-court lying in an obscure part of the town.
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, everyone. However, I wonder whether there are more genuine synonyms of 'secret'. It is clear that we can say that secrets are hidden, but those are not real synonyms, I think. (I thought of : 'hidden code' vs. 'secret code' --- there is a link, quite sure, but... those are not synonyms, I think; not everything we hide is a secret. But thanks, Ancalimon and the others !)

    I am especially interested in the noun ('the secret') and direct derivations.
  6. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew, theres no built in link between them, and indeed hidden code vs secret code would be two different things.

    להסתודד lehistoded to go aside with someone(s) to talk alone.
    מסתורין mistorin, basically acts as mystery.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you explain the precise linke between 'sod'/'raz' and 'lehistoded' ? Thanks!
    Do both mustar and mukhba refer to mystery?
  8. arielipi Senior Member

    סוד is colloquial word for secret.
    lehistoded is shem peula - name of action (to verb equivalent) - it comes from root s -v(always acts as o) -d
    mustar comes from root s-t-r which does indeed come from mystery.
    mukhba is of another root kh-b/v-a

    raz is usually high register, or in kabbalah use, its meaning is like a spiritually/mind high secret, while sod is simply secrt.

    סודיות sodiyut is secrecy, like in doctor secrecy.
  9. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic:

    Secret is "سر /sir/" from the root (سرر /s-r-r/). This root is used to derive words with the meanings of "pleasure and secret"

    Also, the verb "walk" in Arabic has an interesting connection although it is from a different root (سير /s-y-r/), the imperative form of the verb walk "سر /sir/" is exactly the same as the noun "secret"
  10. arielipi Senior Member

    Interestingly s-y-r root in hebrew is used for the following: to tour, to wander around, to inspect ; to patrol
  11. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek the Classical verb «μυέω/μυῶ» is the basis of the noun secret; v. «μυέω/μυῶ» > neuter noun «μυστικό» [misti'ko], secret, masc. noun «μύστης» ['mistis], initiator & initiated, neuter noun «μυστήριο» [mi'stiri.o], mystery, fem. noun «μύηση» ['mi.isi], initiation, adj. «μυστικός, μυστική, μυστικό» [misti'kos] (masc.), [misti'ci] (fem.), [misti'ko] (neut.), secret, clandestine etc.
    Hidden code: «Κρυφός κώδικας» [kri'fos 'koðikas] (both masc.); adj. «κρυφός» [kri'fos] (masc.) < Classical v. «κρύπτω» (please refer to my previous post).
    Secret code: «Μυστικός κώδικας» [misti'kos 'koðikas] (both masc.).
    Bonus: The Spartan Secret Service was called «Κρυπτεία» krŭpteíă (fem.) < Classical v. «κρύπτω»
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In Arabic “secret” is sirr(un) with doubled r; “move” (imperative) is sir with a single r. So they are not “exactly the same”, nor are they related etymologically.
  13. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Is anyone able to link pleasure & secret in some way, maybe secret & inspect (but that link might be based on some mistake)? Is there some link in other languages? I could imagine something, but...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  14. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    Hemlig - hidden
    Hemlighet - secret

    According to a Swedish etymological book the word hemlig goes back to the Middle Low German word heimelik, meaning something that belongs to the house/home and the family; confidential. The secret, hemlighet, was something that belonged to the family, and kept hidden from the eyes of strangers.

    Salaisuus - secret (noun), from an dated word, sala meaning secret, currently used mostly idiomatically and as modifier in compound terms.
    Salainen - secret (adjective)
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That aspect of secret and confidentiality, trust, is one we don't really expericence, I think. I think secrets are 'cold' mattersnow , not loaded with affection, the main thing being that they are separated (se-cernere, so I gathered) from other, visible things. And secretaries - if they still exist - are associated with administration, not so much with trust. Secrets seem to refer to power mainly, I'd say. Or am I going too far? Is it based on my experience in Dutch? SO: does 'secret' in your language have some connotation, be it negative, positive, or neutral?

    As for sala: I suppose the link with seal (my lips are sealed) is too far-fetched...

    (Some interesting link: truth in Greek is aletheia, which is said to consist of a-privatus (non, from) + Lethe, forgetfulness, so non-secret, I thought, but that is not correct, I am afraid. I have just read about that in the above article, that's why)
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  16. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    To me the word hemlighet is neutral to positive, to be able to keep a secret is valuable to me. Perhaps it's because I'm a private person and don't like the idea that everyone should know everything about everyone else, the way many people today seems to be willing to share everything about them with the entire world (Facebook, Twitter and so on).
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    It might be difficult to judge about any inherent connotation, indeed, as it might indeed vary according to our personality. Maybe intrinsically 'dual' or ambiguous, just like covering and other basic concepts... In some cases covers will save us, but in others covers will be fatal (taking away air, light, etc.)...

    One might raise the same question about taboos: they might be unpleasant but necessary, etc.

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