Hardly in different languages

Hardly in Different Languages

Discover 'Hardly' in 134 Languages: Dive into Translations, Hear Pronunciations, and Uncover Cultural Insights.

Updated on March 6, 2024

Have you ever wondered how to say 'hardly' in different languages? This simple word, which means 'only just' or 'almost not', carries a significant weight in communication, emphasizing the slightness or rarity of an event. Its cultural importance is evident in literature and everyday conversations, where it adds nuance and depth to our expressions.

Moreover, understanding the translation of 'hardly' in various languages can enrich your cross-cultural communication skills and foster a deeper connection with people around the world. For instance, in Spanish, 'hardly' translates to 'escasamente', while in French, it becomes 'barement'. In German, you would say 'kaum', and in Italian, 'appena'.

Delving into the historical context of 'hardly', we find that it originates from the Old English word 'heardlice', meaning 'bravely' or 'fiercely'. Over time, its meaning evolved to signify a minimal degree or effort, reflecting the adaptability and richness of the English language.


Hardly in Sub-Saharan African Languages

"Skaars" can also refer to a type of wooden bowl, a lack of something, or a small amount of something.
The word "በጭራሽ" also means "by hand" or "manually".
Hausada wuya
"Da wuya" literally means "in the night", reflecting the difficulty of seeing or doing things at night.
Igbosiri ike
'Siri ike' has a root word 'ike' which means strength, so 'siri ike' could be translated as 'with enough strength' when used affirmatively.
In Malagasy, «mihitsy» originally meant «in vain», similar to its Proto-Malayo-Polynesian root "mi(n)hit". Later it took the meaning «just barely».
Nyanja (Chichewa)nkomwe
The word 'nkomwe' can also refer to a type of traditional fermented maize porridge in Nyanja.
The word "kwete" can also mean "very little" or "a small amount" in Shona.
Somalisi dhib leh
The Somali word "si dhib leh" can also mean "without issue" or "uncomplicated".
Sesothoho hang
The word "ho hang" in Sesotho can also mean "not just yet" or "only just now".
The word “vigumu” is derived from the verb “kuwa gumu”, meaning “to be difficult”.
'Akujalo' shares it etymology with the noun 'kujala', meaning 'to illuminate', with the prefix 'a' having an adverbial force
Yorubao fee
In Yoruba, the word “o fee” can also mean “to be difficult” or “to be stubborn”.
The word 'neze' means both 'hardly', and 'only just' when used in the sense of something being 'on the verge' of happening.
Ewesesẽna ŋutɔ
Lingalaata moke te
Lugandasi buli kaseera
Sepediga se gantši
Twi (Akan)ntaa nsi

Hardly in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

"بالكاد" in Arabic is originally an adverb of place meaning "at the very brink" but shifted in meaning to "just".
The word "בקושי" also means "with difficulty" or "with reluctance."
Pashtoپه کلکه
په کلکه (hardly) is related to Pashto word "کله" (head). The original meaning is "to the extent of one's head", which refers to a small or limited amount.
"بالكاد" in Arabic is originally an adverb of place meaning "at the very brink" but shifted in meaning to "just".

Hardly in Western European Languages

Albanianvështirë se
"Vështirë se" in Albanian is cognate with "vestirja" (dress), and thus originally meant "with difficulty in dressing". In its current use, it implies the unlikelihood of something happening, like "with difficulty in believing".
The Basque word "nekez" is derived from the Proto-Basque word "*neger-," and the word also means "barely" or "scarcely".
It comes from the Latin phrase "difficilis mente", meaning "difficult to understand".
The word 'jedva' derives from the Proto-Slavic word *jedvъ 'difficulty, trouble' and is cognate with the Russian word едва (edva) 'hardly' and the Polish word jedwab 'silk'.
The word "næsten" is also used as an adverb meaning "almost", but its original meaning is "nearly".
The Dutch word "nauwelijks" originates from the Middle Dutch "nauwelike" meaning "exactly", "precisely", from "nau" (narrow) and "like" (similar).
The word “hardly” is derived from the Old English “hard” meaning “bold”, “strong”, or “difficult”, and “lic” meaning “indeed”, “truly” or “strongly”.
Frenchà peine
In Old French, "à peine" referred to physical or legal suffering, a meaning preserved in the modern term "peine".
The word "amper" can also mean "slightly" or "a little bit".
"Dificilmente" is a Galician word with a Latin origin and can also mean "difficult" or "with difficulty".
"Kaum" originally meant "scarcely" or "barely" and is derived from the Old High German "chûmo," which itself comes from the Proto-Indo-European root "kem" meaning "to cover, hide, or conceal."
'Varla' is an Icelandic word of Old Norse origin used in the sense of 'hardly' or 'with difficulty'.
Irishar éigean
The word "appena" in Italian can also mean "recently" or "just now" in some contexts.
The word "kaum" can also mean "barely" or "scarcely".
In colloquial Maltese, "bilkemm" can also be used to mean "almost" or "nearly".
Neppe is derived from the Old Norse "neppa," meaning "cut short". It has also been used figuratively to mean "scarcely" or "hardly" since the 1400s.
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)dificilmente
"Dificilmente" derives from the Latin "difficilis" (hard, difficult) and also means "with difficulty" or "infrequently".
Scots Gaeliccha mhòr
Literally translates to "great difficulty" or "very much". Often used ironically when someone is doing something easily.
The word "apenas" is used in other contexts to mean "only" or "barely", and it traces its roots back to the Latin "ad pedem", which means "at the foot".
The word "knappast" is derived from the Old Norse word "knappr" meaning "tight, narrow, short".
In Welsh 'prin' also means 'before'.

Hardly in Eastern European Languages

Belarusianнаўрад ці
Jedva is of Slavic origin and its root means "only enough," which in some dialects also implies hardship.
Bulgarianедва ли
In Bulgarian, "едва ли" (edva li) can also mean "unlikely" or "it is doubtful that."
The word "stěží" is derived from the Old Czech word "těžiti", meaning "to obtain with difficulty".
"Vaevalt" is cognate with the Finnish word "vaiva", which means "effort" or "hardship".
"Tuskin" is the negation of "kyllä" in the partitive plural form (kyllä = yes, kyllä + partitive singular suffix -i = kyllin = enough, kyllin + partitive plural suffix -n = tuskin).
The word "alig" also means "scarcely" or "barely" in English.
Latviandiez vai
The word "diez vai" also means "maybe" or "probably" in Latvian.
Lithuanianvargu ar
Vargu is an old Lithuanian form of varguolis, which meant "poor man", "vagabond", "beggar".
The word "тешко" can also mean "difficult" or "heavy" in Macedonian.
The word "ledwie" in Polish originally meant "only" or "scarcely".
Romaniancu greu
"Cu greu" is also used in Romanian to mean "with difficulty" or "with great effort."
"Едва" is a Russian word meaning "hardly" or "barely", but it can also mean "at first" or "at the moment".
The Serbian word 'једва' is derived from the Proto-Slavic word *jьdьva, which also means 'scarcely' or 'barely'.
"Ťažko" also means "hard" in Slovak, which is used in names like Ťažký Dvorec (Heavy Manor).
Komaj is a derivative of the Proto-Slavic word *komъ, meaning 'little', 'hardly', or 'barely'
Ukrainianнавряд чи
The word "навряд чи" in Ukrainian shares the same etymology with "навряд" meaning "unlikely". Thus, the literal translation is "on hardly".

Hardly in South Asian Languages

The word "কষ্টে" also means "with difficulty" or "with great effort" in Bengali.
Gujaratiભાગ્યે જ
Hindiमुश्किल से
The word "मुश्किल से" is derived from the Persian word "مشکل" (mushkil), meaning "difficult" or "hard to do."
The word "ಕಷ್ಟದಿಂದ" also means "with difficulty" or "despite difficulties."
"പ്രയാസമില്ല" in Malayalam comes from the Prakrit word "पयासो" meaning "effort" with the negative prefix "പ്ര" but also means "without trouble" as opposed to its literal meaning of "no effort".
A compound word meaning 'with great difficulty', 'with great effort' or 'hardly' and is formed by combination of 'महत्' meaning 'great' and 'प्रयास' meaning 'effort'
The word "मुश्किलले" is derived from the Sanskrit word "मुश्किल", meaning "difficult".
Punjabiਮੁਸ਼ਕਿਲ ਨਾਲ
The word "ਮੁਸ਼ਕਿਲ ਨਾਲ" is derived from the Persian word "mushkil", meaning "difficult". Another possible origin is the Sanskrit word "mūshkala", meaning "a little mouse".
Sinhala (Sinhalese)අමාරුයි
Sinhala word "අමාරුයි" (amāruyi) also means "difficult to carry", while the Tamil word "அமாறு" (amāṟu) means "to carry heavy objects".
The word 'అరుదుగా' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'अर्', meaning 'few', and is used to indicate scarcity or infrequency.
Urduمشکل سے
The Urdu word "مشکل سے" is cognate with the Sanskrit word "दुष्करतः" (duṣkaraḥ) meaning "with difficulty".

Hardly in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)几乎不
'几乎不' means 'almost not' in Chinese and is used to indicate a near-zero probability of something happening.
Chinese (Traditional)幾乎不
幾乎不 is also used to indicate the sense of "nearly not"
"ほとんどありません" is a negative form of "ほとんどあります" meaning "there are a lot," and thus originally meant "there are few."
The word "거의" can also mean "almost" or "nearly".
Mongolianбараг биш
The Mongolian word "бараг биш" also means "not at all" or "absolutely not".
Myanmar (Burmese)ခဲယဉ်း

Hardly in South East Asian Languages

Indonesianhampir tidak
The words 'hampir' and 'tidak' are combined to mean 'almost not' or 'hardly'.
The word "angel" in Javanese can also mean a kind of shrimp known as the mantis shrimp or stomatopod.
The word 'ស្ទើរតែ' originally meant 'almost' but over time came to primarily mean 'hardly'.
Malayhampir tidak
"Hampir tidak" derives from "hampir" and "tidak", meaning "almost not".
แทบจะไม่ is derived from the word แทบ, which means close to a certain point or degree.
Vietnamesekhó khăn
In Vietnamese "khó khăn" is often used to mean "poor" in a material sense, but it also means "difficult" or "hard".
Filipino (Tagalog)bahagya

Hardly in Central Asian Languages

"çətinliklə" derives from Proto-Turkic "*ket- " (to be difficult, to lack) and Proto-Altaic "*kekt" (be difficult; want; need).
The word "әрең" can also refer to the concept of "scarcely" or "just barely".
The word "араң" can also mean "almost not" or "with difficulty".
The word "базӯр" (bazūr) in Tajik can also mean "difficult" or "troublesome".
Uzbekdeyarli emas
The Uzbek word "deyarli emas" can be literally translated to "it's almost impossible". It is used to express strong denial, as in "It's hardly true".

Hardly in Pacific Languages

The Hawaiian word "paʻakikī" also means "difficult" or "stubborn," reflecting its root "pāki" ("firm, hard").
Whakauaua is also an archaic term for 'very much', and is the opposite of 'noa' ('very little').
The term "faigata" in Samoan is derived from the root word "fa'i" meaning "to forbid" or "to prevent".
Tagalog (Filipino)mahirap
"Mahirap " originally meant "difficult" or "bad situation", but has come to mean “hardly" or "not likely" in everyday usage.

Hardly in American Indigenous Languages


Hardly in International Languages

The Esperanto word "malfacile" derives from the Latin "malefacere", meaning "to do evil" or "to harm".
The word "vix" in Latin originates from the Proto-Indo-European "*weik-s," meaning "separate" or "divide."

Hardly in Others Languages

Greekμετά βίας
The Greek phrase 'μετά βίας' literally translates to 'with force', hinting at the strenuous effort put into an action.
The Hmong word "kog" also means "almost", "scarcely", and "barely".
The word "nîne" is thought to be derived from the Persian word "nah", meaning "no" or "not". It can also mean "not yet" or "almost".
The Turkish word "zorlukla" ultimately derives from the Proto-Turkic word *zor*, meaning "force" or "difficulty"
'Akujalo' shares it etymology with the noun 'kujala', meaning 'to illuminate', with the prefix 'a' having an adverbial force
The Yiddish word "קוים" originated in the biblical Hebrew word "קום" (qum), meaning "to rise up" or "to stand".
The word 'neze' means both 'hardly', and 'only just' when used in the sense of something being 'on the verge' of happening.
Assameseখুব কম
Bhojpuriमुसकिल से
Dhivehiވަރަށް މަދުން
Filipino (Tagalog)bahagya
Kurdish (Sorani)بە سەختی
Maithiliमुश्किल सं
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯋꯥꯔꯞꯅ
Oromoakka hintaanetti
Odia (Oriya)କ୍ୱଚିତ୍ |
Tatar.әр сүзнең
Tsongaa swi talangi

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