Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Outsider, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. 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: Jul 18, 2008
  2. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    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:
  3. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    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: Jul 18, 2008
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    That is also the case in Portuguese. :)

    Does French have a cognate of alienígena?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  5. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    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.
  6. mgwls Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    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.
  7. Tamar

    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.
  8. elroy

    elroy Imperfect Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Arabic: كائن فضائي (kaa'in faDaa'i), lit. "space creature"
  9. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    In Italian we say: alieno, extraterrestre, marziano (coming from Mars).
  10. krolaina

    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
  11. Russian: пришелец
  12. Sionees Member

    England, UK
    Welsh - Wales

    Bod arall-fydol > an other-worldly being.

    (Sorry, I don't know if there's a hyphen in English, there is in Welsh... :)
  13. I am delighted to find someone who seems to knwo Welsh better than English :D

    Estonian: tulnukas.
  14. Sionees Member

    England, UK
    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 ;-)
  15. 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:
  16. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    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).
  17. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    (@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 ;)).
  18. anikka Senior Member

    To rectify things, here is the Latvian version:

    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)
  19. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    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".


  20. 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: Jul 23, 2008
  21. Kanes Senior Member

    izv'n zemno - out of worlder(neutral gender)
  22. Nizo Senior Member

    In Esperanto: eksterterano.
  23. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    "Aliénigène" is "googlable", if I may use two neologisms in the same sentence!... But it is not found in the dictionary, and not very frequent.
    Contexts for "aliénigène" seem quite esoterical.
  24. Halibut New Member

    Swedish: utomjording, which is a direct translation of extraterrestrial (cf. Jorden 'the Earth')
  25. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member


    «Εξωγήινος, -νη, -νο» [e.k͜sɔˈʝi.i.nɔs] (masc.), [e.k͜sɔˈʝ] (fem.), [e.k͜sɔˈʝi.i.nɔ] (neut.) which is a modern translation of the Eng. extraterrestrial.
  26. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary

    földönkívüli, from "föld" (= earth) and "kívül" (= outside)
  27. Armas Senior Member


    avaruusolento < avaruus "space" + olento "being"
  28. hui Senior Member

    It seems that nowadays, alien can be used, too.
  29. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra


    Estra-: outside
    lur: earth
    -tar: suffix denoting origin

    From outside the earth.
  30. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Chinese: 外星人 (wai4 xing1 ren2)
    外: outer, other
    星: star, planet
    人: human, person, people
  31. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Turkish: uzaylı (spaceborn/originating from space).

    Alternatively: dünya dışı varlık (outwordly entity).

Share This Page