Itself in different languages

Itself in Different Languages

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

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'itself' is a small but powerful term, often used to emphasize the autonomy and independence of a noun. It carries a significant weight in English language and literature, and its cultural importance extends far beyond the realm of grammar. Understanding the word 'itself' in different languages can provide valuable insights into the nuances of various cultures and their unique ways of expressing thoughts and ideas.

For instance, in Spanish, 'itself' is translated as 'ese mismo' or 'ella misma' depending on the gender of the noun. Meanwhile, in German, the word 'sich' is used to convey the same meaning. In French, 'itself' is translated as 'même' or 'lui-même', depending on the context.

Delving deeper into the translations of 'itself' can reveal fascinating historical contexts and cultural differences. Join us as we explore the many facets of this simple yet powerful word in various languages around the world.


Itself in Sub-Saharan African Languages

In Afrikaans,
The word ራሱ (itself) can also be used to refer to the essence of something or its innermost nature.
The word "kanta" in Hausa can also mean "it" or "him" when referring to a male entity.
Igbon'onwe ya
N'onwe ya, a compound word from n'onwe (self or owner) and ya (its, his, her), also means 'it's own' or 'its own business'.
The word "mihitsy" can also refer to an independent or solitary person or thing.
Nyanja (Chichewa)lokha
Nyanja 'lokha' is used as a reflexive, but historically meant 'self', and it can also mean an 'idol' or a 'corpse'.
Pachawo is derived from the Proto-Bantu verb *pa- (to) which is also the source of other reflexive and reciprocal prefixes throughout the Niger-Congo language family.
The word "laftiisa" also has the meaning "his own" or "her own" when used in the possessive form.
Sesothoka boeona
This word can have the following meanings: the self same, the very same, himself, herself, itself, thyself, yourself, yourself, themselves, or by itself.
The word "yenyewe" can also mean "on its own" or "independently" in Swahili.
The word 'ngokwayo' is derived from the Xhosa word 'ukukwazi', which means 'to be able'. It can be used as a pronoun, an adverb, or a conjunction.
In some dialects of Yoruba, "funrarẹ" means "on its own" or "separately."
In Zulu, the word "uqobo" also means "the very thing," or "the selfsame thing.
Bambaraa yɛrɛ ye
Lingalayango moko
Sepedika boyona
Twi (Akan)ankasa

Itself in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

Arabicبحد ذاتها
Hebrewאת עצמה
The word "את עצמה" can also mean "her" or "herself".
The Pashto word "پخپله" ("itself") also serves as the oblique form (i.e., the form not in the subject) of the reflexive pronoun.}
Arabicبحد ذاتها

Itself in Western European Languages

The noun "vetveten" in Albanian can also refer to the "very essence" or "inmost nature" of something.
The Basque word "bera" can also refer to "the same one", "the very same" or "she, he" depending on the context.
Catalana si mateix
The Catalan word "a si mateix" can also mean "by oneself" or "on one's own".
The word 'sebe' in Croatian can also be used as a possessive adjective meaning 'own' or 'his/her own'.
Danishsig selv
The word "sig selv" is also used in Danish to refer to someone's better half, their spouse or lover.
"Zelf" is cognate with English "self" and German "selbst," sharing an etymology with Proto-Indo-European *swé, meaning "own."
The word "itself" derives from the Old English word "hit self," meaning "it itself," and can also be used as an intensive pronoun emphasizing the noun it modifies.
The word "lui-même" can also mean "himself" or "himself".}
The Frisian word "sels" also means "seal" (animal) and "sail".
Galicianen si
"En si", "por sí misma" o "interiormente", es la forma apocopada de "en sí mesma" en gallego.
The word "selbst" in German also means "self" and is often used in philosophical contexts to refer to the subjective or individual self.
The Icelandic word "sjálft" originally meant "body" or "person" but took on its current meaning of "itself" in the 14th century.
The word "féin" in Irish can also mean "indeed" or "of course".
In medieval Latin, "si" also meant "yes".
The word 'selwer' in Luxembourgish is derived from the Old High German word 'selbir', meaning 'self', and is also related to the English word 'self'.
The Maltese word "innifsu" is thought to derive from the Arabic "bi-nafsihi" meaning "by itself".
Norwegianseg selv
In Norwegian, "seg selv" is also used to mean "himself" or "herself" when the gender of the subject is unknown or irrelevant.
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)em si
The word "em si" can also be used to mean "in itself" or "intrinsically".
Scots Gaelicfhèin
In Gaelic, "fhèin" can also mean "own" or "very".
Spanishsí mismo
The Spanish word "sí mismo" can also mean "him- or herself".
The Old Norse word "sig" originally meant "victory," hence the meaning "one" (the winner), as it is used today.
Welshei hun
The word "ei hun" in Welsh has connections to the Old English word "heonan" meaning "within".

Itself in Eastern European Languages

Belarusian word "сама" can also mean "she" or "oneself" when used in certain contexts.
The word "sama" in Bosnian can also mean "same" or "alone".
Bulgarianсебе си
In Bulgarian, "себе си" can also refer to a person's self-esteem and inner worth.
The term "sám" can also be used as a reflexive particle to indicate that an action is carried out by the subject upon itself; e.g., "umýt se" ("to wash oneself").
"Ise" is a cognate of Finnish "itse". The Estonian word originates directly from the Finnish "itse" via the Swedish "själv" in the Middle Ages.
The Finnish word "itse" evolved from the word *ipse,* meaning "one's own," and a related word *itsekäs* means "selfish."
The word "maga" in Hungarian is a reflexive pronoun meaning "itself," "himself," or "herself" and is related to the word "magam," which means "myself."
From Proto-Baltic *pḗti, also related to Proto-Indo-European *péti (foot), from which also come English “ped-” and Latin “pēs”.
The word "pats" in Lithuanian can also mean "one's own" or "belonging to oneself".
The word "себе" originally comes from the Old Church Slavonic word "се" or "сьбє, which means "in, towards".
The Polish word "samo" can mean not only "itself" but also "alone" or "only."
Romanianîn sine
A potential origin of the Romanian word "în sine" is the Latin phrase "in seipso" meaning "within itself".
The word сам in Russian can be used as reflexive pronoun, as an adverb meaning 'alone', or as a noun meaning 'the self'. It is derived from the Proto-Slavic *samъ, from Proto-Indo-European *somó-s, and is cognate with Latin se and English self.
The word "себе" in Serbian can also mean "to oneself" or "for oneself".
Sám in Slovak has a dual meaning: „itself” and „alone”.
In Old Church Slavonic, "sama" was used as the feminine singular form of the reflexive pronoun "se".
"Себе" can also refer to oneself or a person's own interests.

Itself in South Asian Languages

"নিজেই" is derived from the Sanskrit word "nizhtha" meaning "own essence."
The word "પોતે" in Gujarati can also mean "oneself", "in person", or "personally".
Hindiअपने आप
The Hindi word "अपने आप" can also mean "automatically" or "on its own".
ಸ್ವತಃ is derived from the Sanskrit word स्वतः (svatah), meaning 'of its own accord', 'by itself', or 'independently'.
Malayalam word "സ്വയം" (svayam) can also mean "by oneself" or "in person."
The word 'स्वतः' originates from the Sanskrit word 'स्वतः', which means 'by oneself or of one's own accord'.
The word "आफैं" originally meant "self" or "own" and also refers to an entity acting upon itself.
Punjabiਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ
Sinhala (Sinhalese)
The Sinhala word "ම" can also mean "this" or "here" in some contexts.
In Tamil, "தன்னை" can also mean "one's own self" or "of itself."}
The word 'స్వయంగా' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'स्वयं' (svayam), meaning 'self', and is also used in the sense of 'automatically' or 'independently'.
"خود" is also used to mean 'the self,' and can refer to a person, their feelings, or their character.

Itself in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)本身
"本身" is also used in the following expressions: "身不由己" (against one's will), "身居要职" (hold an important position), and "身披重任" (bear a heavy responsibility).
Chinese (Traditional)本身
本身 originally referred to one's body or nature and, in the sense of "itself," first appeared in the Song dynasty.
The word "自体" (jita) can also mean "body" or "substance" in Japanese.
Korean그 자체
그 자체 is a native Korean word but can also be used as a translation of the Japanese word じたい (jitai) which means "substance".
The morpheme "өөр" in Mongolian has many meanings, such as "other", "separate", and "different", and "өөрөө" is formed by reduplication and used to emphasize the meaning of "itself".
Myanmar (Burmese)သူ့ဟာသူ
The word “သူ့ဟာသူ” can literally mean 1. the person's own (as in something), 2. his/her own, and more figuratively 3. one's own self / oneself / itself.

Itself in South East Asian Languages

The word "diri" is also used to refer to "one's person" or "one's identity" in Indonesian, similar to the English word "self."
The Javanese word "dhewe" is related to the Malay "diri" and the Sanskrit "swa", all meaning "self".
In old Khmer, the word "khleun va pdal" was used to refer to "oneself" or "one's body".
This phrase can also mean 'all by itself' or 'on its own'.
The word "sendiri" in Malay can also mean "alone" or "by oneself".
"ตัว" means "body" while "เอง" means "self". Therefore, "ตัวเอง" originally meant "own body" and is now used reflexively as "itself".
Vietnamesechinh no
Chinh no can also mean "the essence" or "the very nature" of something.
Filipino (Tagalog)mismo

Itself in Central Asian Languages

In Azerbaijani, "özü" can also refer to "essence" or "core."
"өзі" is derived from the Proto-Turkic word "öz" meaning "self, own" and can also mean "the very fact that" or "the only reason why."
In Kyrgyz, "өзү" can also refer to a person's self-esteem or personal character.
"худаш" also refers to "one's own" or "belonging to oneself" and is cognate with the Persian خود "self" and the Sanskrit स्वयम् "self."
Ози "о'зи" ("ози") имеет "уз" да число арабского-фарси эпохали вавились также для большинства "хози" вида или удобного "нега".

Itself in Pacific Languages

In Hawaiian, the word "iho" can also refer to the "navel" or the "lower body".
In Maori, "ano" can also mean "alone" or "only" when used as an adjective.
Samoanlava ia
The Samoan word "lava ia" not only means "itself" but can also be used to mean "alone" or "by itself".
Tagalog (Filipino)mismo
The Tagalog word "mismo" is derived from the Spanish word "mismo", which means "same" or "selfsame".

Itself in American Indigenous Languages

Aymarajupa pachpa

Itself in International Languages

"Mem" comes from the Latin "memet", meaning "itself"
The word 'ipsum' in Latin was occasionally used to refer to the letter "a".

Itself in Others Languages

The word "εαυτό" in Greek is derived from the reflexive pronoun "εαυτού", which means "of oneself". It can also be used as an emphatic pronoun, meaning "himself", "herself", or "itself".
Hmongnws tus kheej
The first syllable is borrowed from the Thai word "ตัว", meaning "body".
'Xwe,' can also be used to describe the self as opposed to an external influence, such as: 'bixwe (on its own), xweser (self), xwedan (to own)'.
The word 'kendisi' can also mean 'self' or 'person' in Turkish.
The word 'ngokwayo' is derived from the Xhosa word 'ukukwazi', which means 'to be able'. It can be used as a pronoun, an adverb, or a conjunction.
'זיך' can also be used to mean 'self' as in the English word 'selfish,' and like 'selfish' it is generally used in a derogatory sense to refer to someone only interested in their own needs or desires.
In Zulu, the word "uqobo" also means "the very thing," or "the selfsame thing.
Aymarajupa pachpa
Bhojpuriखुदे के बा
Dogriखुद ही
Filipino (Tagalog)mismo
Ilocanoa mismo
Krioinsɛf sɛf
Kurdish (Sorani)خۆی
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯃꯁꯥ ꯃꯊꯟꯇꯥ꯫
Mizoamah ngei pawh a ni
Oromoofii isaatii
Odia (Oriya)ନିଜେ |
Tsongahi yoxe

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