alien

Outsider

Senior Member
Portuguese (Portugal)
How do you say "alien", in the sense of a being from another planet?

In Portuguese there is the word alienígena, which I believe is a cognate of the English word. But this is used almost exclusively in science fiction literature. Most people would be more likely to say extraterrestre, "extra-terrestrial", or simply monstro, "monster", if it's in the context of a horror story, like the film with the same name.

I'm primarily interested in the word, rather than the film. (In Portugal the film Alien was dubbed Alien—O oitavo passageiro, which means 'Alien'—The eighth passenger. The title was not translated literally.)

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:
  • kusurija

    Senior Member
    Lithuania Czech
    In Czech:
    "alien", in the sense of a being from another planet - mimozemšťan -word-to-word ~"extra-terrestrial" (ET); being concretely from Mars - Marťan. As translation of films name it would be vetřelec (also means intruder, invader...)

    In Lithuanian: "alien", in the sense of a being from another planet - extraterestrian, but this is alien word in Lihuanian. Being concretely from Mars - Marsietis. Also can be said by describing: "nežemiška butybė" but it sounds somewhat strange. As translation of films name it would be svetimas (stranger). Maybe someone can remember better word, but this minute I don't remember such.:mad:
     

    Grop

    Senior Member
    français
    It's pretty much the same in French as in Portuguese, except the word alien only refers to the monsters in the Alien series (Starting with Alien, Le huitième passager) or to very similar monsters from other settings (a huge monster with lots of tentacles would not be called un alien).

    The most generic word would be extraterrestre too, or monstre for a monstruous ET.

    Edit: I agree with Fred - French alien is just a borrowing from English that is useful when talking about the Alien series, just like blob is useful when talking about the monster in The Blob, or wookie and ewok are useful when talking about Starwars. That's pop culture vocabulary.
     
    Last edited:

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    It's pretty much the same in French as in Portuguese, except the word alien only refers to the monsters in the Alien series (Starting with Alien, Le huitième passager) or to very similar monsters from other settings (a huge monster with lots of tentacles would not be called un alien).

    [...]

    French alien is just a borrowing from English that is useful when talking about the Alien series, just like blob is useful when talking about the monster in The Blob, or wookie and ewok are useful when talking about Starwars. That's pop culture vocabulary.
    That is also the case in Portuguese. :)

    Does French have a cognate of alienígena?
     
    Last edited:

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    It's pretty much the same in French as in Portuguese, except the word alien only refers to the monsters in the Alien series (Starting with Alien, Le huitième passager) or to very similar monsters from other settings (a huge monster with lots of tentacles would not be called un alien).

    The most generic word would be extraterrestre too, or monstre for a monstruous ET.
    Except that the word "alien" is not French, and is a borrowing from English, whereas in Portuguese, the word alienìgena if I understood it well is indeed real Portuguese.
     

    mgwls

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Argentina)
    In Spanish we have the word alienígena (we also use "alien" though), but far more common is extraterrestre. There is the term marciano as well, which actually refers to somebody or something that comes from Mars, but which a lot of people use to encompass anything originating outside the Earth. Also, we often use the acronym ovni which stands for objeto volador no identificado (UFO in English) but nonetheless isn't limited to platillos voladores (alien spaceships - flying saucers) in common usage but is used with the same meaning as extraterrestre.
     

    Tamar

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    In Hebrew alien is חייזר [khayzar/kheyzar]. It's one word, but was made by using two words:
    חי [khay] alive and זר [zar] foreign.
     

    krolaina

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Spain
    Spanish: alienígena, extraterrestre, marciano (same as in italian, with "c").
    Irenilla, why are they in green if Mars is red?:D
     

    Sionees

    Member
    Welsh - Wales
    Diolch setwle x12. That's my shorthand for saying "thanks" in 12 langs - which I can do. Do I say shukria or shukran to you? I actually learnt English when I entered primary school about 35 years ago as my first foreign language. If you check me out you will work out Welshicsms in my English ;-)
     
    Diolch setwle x12. That's my shorthand for saying "thanks" in 12 langs - which I can do. Do I say shukria or shukran to you? I actually learnt English when I entered primary school about 35 years ago as my first foreign language. If you check me out you will work out Welshicsms in my English ;-)
    Amazing!!! I am from Devonshire... born abroad, spoke three languages including English and Gaelic as mothertongues and it has always been my cherished dream to learn Welsh, one of my native languages ethnically...but what with the complete lack of sources...and even though I have met people speaking Welsh, it would always be No 2 after English....


    But we are offtoping...

    To rectify things, here is the Latvian version:
    ārzemnieks
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    In German this is difficult to tell as the English term - Alien - seems to finally have entered the German language: it is now possible to speak of 'Aliens' (pronounced somewhere in-between what you would expect from English and German general pronunciation rules). Even if you are not talking about that specific film.
    (I've heard it especially from the younger generation, especially from people who love to play computer games with ... aliens in them, of course. But even German Wiki already mentions the term Alien.)

    But generally in German an extraterrestrial would be called (der or die) Ausserirdische.

    In science-fiction literature there also exist a great many other terms - as you would expect. In translated pieces of literature (especially from English provenience) usually the term used in the original language is not translated, therefore English 'xenoc' (used at least by one author meaning 'aliens' in general) became German 'Xeno (sg.) Xenos (pl.)' - and then of course there are many other names for specific extraterrestrials (like Marsians > Marsianer).
     

    Grop

    Senior Member
    français
    (@Setwale - This is like the story of many native French speakers who are ethnically somethingelse speakers)

    I forgot to mention that French alien is not pronouced like the English word, nor is it pronounced like a plain old French word: it doesn't rhyme with lien, as there is no nasal vowel in it. I think the IPA would be [aljɛn], althoug I am not very good at IPAese.

    (Outsider, I pointed you to French aliéner and aliéné. I spent a few minutes on néandertalien, which doesn't seem to be related at all - alas, that would have made a good story ;)).
     

    anikka

    Senior Member
    latvia/latvian
    To rectify things, here is the Latvian version:
    ārzemnieks


    To tell you the truth - ārzemnieks, is a foreigner, in the sence he's comming from abroad, not from another plantet
    that would be - citplanētietis (from cita - another, planēta - planet)
    :)
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,

    In Dutch it would be (een) buitenaards wezen (lit. extraterrestrial being), The alien in the movie Alien (which doesn`t get translated in Dutch) would be "een buitenaards monster".

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Piotr_WRF

    Senior Member
    Polish, German
    In Polish it's kosmita (sg.) and kosmici (pl.), derived from kosmos of course (cosmos in English). The movie was called Obcy, which literally means stranger or foreigner. It seems that it's quite common now to call outer space aliens obcy too, maybe because of the movie.
     
    Last edited:

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek:

    «Εξωγήινος, -νη, -νο» [e.k͜sɔˈʝi.i.nɔs] (masc.), [e.k͜sɔˈʝi.i.ni] (fem.), [e.k͜sɔˈʝi.i.nɔ] (neut.) which is a modern translation of the Eng. extraterrestrial.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top