Neither in different languages

Neither in Different Languages

Discover 'Neither' in 134 Languages: Dive into Translations, Hear Pronunciations, and Uncover Cultural Insights.

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'neither' is a small but powerful term in English, often used to express a lack of agreement or inclusion. It's a word that bridges the gap between two distinct ideas or objects, signifying that neither one holds true or applicable. This concept is not limited to English, as many languages have their own unique way of expressing 'neither.'

Understanding the translation of 'neither' in different languages can provide insight into the cultural nuances and ways of thinking of various societies. For example, in Spanish, 'neither' is translated as 'ni,' which is often used in conjunction with 'ni' from the other side of the sentence to create a balanced, symmetrical phrase. Meanwhile, in Japanese, 'neither' is translated as 'nai,' which can also be used to negate a verb in a sentence.

Exploring the translations of 'neither' in different languages can broaden your cultural and linguistic horizons. Here are some translations to get you started:


Neither in Sub-Saharan African Languages

Afrikaansook nie
The word "ook nie" in Afrikaans is used to express a negative response in a more emphatic way, akin to "absolutely not" or "not at all" in English.
The word አይደለም in Amharic derives from the root negation 'አይ-' and the verb 'ደለ' (to be). While it primarily means 'neither,' it can also be used as a synonym for 'not' in certain contexts.
"Ba" also serves as a nominal prefix that can be used on verbs to form verbal nouns.
In Igbo, "abughi" also means "it is not" and "there is not" or "it is no more".
"Tsy" derives from the Proto-Austronesian word *sadi (not)", which also gave rise to the Chamorro word "håyi" (no)".
Nyanja (Chichewa)ngakhale
The word "ngakhale" can also mean "without" or "despite".
The Shona word "kana" is also used to express indifference or lack of preference.
The word "midkoodna" in Somali originally meant "in the middle" but gained its current meaning over time.
The word "leha" can also be used to mean "not yet" or "never" in Sesotho.
The Swahili word "wala" can also mean "but" or "and" in some contexts.
The Xhosa word "hayi" is also sometimes used to express agreement or understanding.
Bẹni, meaning 'neither', is also the word for an animal's horn and the point of a knife in Yoruba.
The Zulu word 'hhayi' can also mean 'nor' or 'not'
Bambarao fana tɛ
Ewemenye esia o
Kinyarwandanta na kimwe
Lingalamoko te
Sepedie sego
Twi (Akan)ɛnyɛ biara

Neither in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

Arabicلا هذا ولا ذاك
The word "لا هذا ولا ذاك" literally means "not this, nor that".
Hebrewלא זה ולא זה
The Hebrew phrase "לא זה ולא זה" can also mean "not this or that" or "nothing of the sort."
The term نه can also carry meanings such as 'no one,' 'none,' and 'nothing,' or be used in phrases that connote 'in any case,' 'under any circumstances,' or 'not for a moment'.
Arabicلا هذا ولا ذاك
The word "لا هذا ولا ذاك" literally means "not this, nor that".

Neither in Western European Languages

The word 'as' in Albanian can also be used to denote 'nor'.
Basqueezta ere
"Ezta ere" is a contraction of the phrases "ez da ere" and "ezta da ere," where "ez" means "no," "da" means "is," "ere" means "also," and "ezta" is a negative coordinating conjunction.
The Spanish word "tampoco" and the Catalan word "tampoc" both mean "neither" and originate from the Latin word "tampōcum".
The Croatian word "ni" is derived from the Proto-Slavic word "ne", which also means "no" or "not".
Danishingen af dem
In Danish, "ingen af dem" has an alternate meaning of "none of them" in addition to "neither", while in English, "neither" is only used to mean "not either".
Dutchgeen van beide
The Dutch phrase "geen van beide" can refer to both the negation of "both" and the non-existence of a given choice, depending on the context.
"Neither" derives from Middle English "nawther" and Old English "nāwðer", "nēawðer", both of which mean "not one nor the other."
"Ni" derives from the Latin negative form "nec" and shares a common root with the English word "nor".
Frisiangjin fan beide
The Frisian "gjin fan beide" could also mean "nothing of it at all".
The Galician word "nin" is derived from the Latin "nec" (not) and the suffix "-in" (belonging to) and also means "no one".
The word "weder" in German is derived from the Old High German "wedar" meaning "against" or "in opposition".
The word "hvorugt" can also be used to describe something that is incomplete or unsatisfactory.
The Irish word "ceachtar" also means "each of two" and was originally composed of the word "cech" (each) and the numeral "a dó" (two).
Italiannessuno dei due
The Italian word "nessuno dei due" ultimately derives from the Latin phrase "nec unus, nec duo," meaning "not one, not two."
The original word "wedder" derives from Old High German "wedar" (meaning "whether") and in Old Luxembourgish "wede".
The word "ebda" in Maltese can also mean "never" or "not at all".
The word "ingen" in Norwegian is a contraction of the words "ikke" and "en", meaning "not one."
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)nem
The word "nem" in Portuguese derives from the Latin "nec" meaning "not".
Scots Gaelicni mò
"Ni mò" does not mean "never" in Scots Gaelic!
The Spanish word "ninguno" comes from the Latin "nec unus" meaning "not one".
The word "varken" can mean "either" in Old Norse, from which the modern meaning in Swedish is derived.
The alternate meaning of "ychwaith" is a negative answer to "both" and "neither" and it comes from "ni chwaith".

Neither in Eastern European Languages

Bosnianni jedno ni drugo
The word "ni" means "not" in Bosnian, and "jedno" and "drugo" mean "one" and "other," respectively.
Bulgarianнито едно
In Bulgarian, "нито едно" can also be used to refer to "no one" or "nothing".
The Czech word "ani" shares the same Proto-Slavic root as the Sanskrit word "anyah", meaning "other".
"Kumbki" can also mean "each one" and "it doesn't matter".
Finnishei kumpikaan
In addition to its literal meaning "neither", "ei kumpikaan" can informally mean "either" (similar to the French phrase "ni l'un ni l'autre") when used in a double negative structure.
"Se" is also the first syllable of the third person object pronoun series "ő", in which case it is usually elongated.
Latvianne viens, ne otrs
The word "ne viens, ne otrs" also means "this or that" in contemporary Latvian.
Lithuaniannei vienas, nei kitas
The Lithuanian word "nei vienas, nei kitas" directly translates to "not one, not the other," emphasizing the absence of both options.
Macedonianниту едно
The term "ниту едно" is also used as a noun in Macedonian, meaning "nothing."
In Old Polish, "ani" meant "not" and was still used in that sense in the 19th century.
The word "nici" also means "nor" or "not even" in Romanian.
Russianни то, ни другое
The Russian word "ни то, ни другое" literally translates to "not this, nor that".
The word "ни" in Serbian is a homonym, with different meanings depending on the context, such as "no", "nor", or as a conjunction meaning "neither... nor...".
Slovakani jeden
Ani jeden is used in a few set phrases in Slovak, where it does not mean 'neither', but instead means 'not a single one' or 'not even one'.
The word “niti” can also mean “thread” or “yarn” in Slovenian and is derived from the Proto-Slavic word *nitь, meaning "thread"
The word "ні" in Ukrainian can also be used as an interjection to express negation, similar to "no" in English.

Neither in South Asian Languages

The Bengali word "না" can also be used to indicate negation, denial, or refusal.
Gujaratiન તો
The Gujarati word "ન તો" is a cognate of the Sanskrit "na ca," which means "and not."
The Sanskrit origin of the word "न" is "ना," which also means "not"}
The word "ಇಲ್ಲ" also means "not here" or "no" when used in context.
The word "ഇല്ല" can also mean "not", "there is not", or "does not exist" in Malayalam.
"नाही" is derived from the Sanskrit word "na asti", meaning "not there".
Nepaliन त
In Sanskrit, 'न त' is also a negative form of the emphatic particle 'त'.
Punjabiਨਾ ਹੀ
"Nahin", a word used in Punjabi to mean "neither", also means "not" in the Hindi language and is also used in negative sentences.
Sinhala (Sinhalese)නැත
The Sinhala word "නැත" also means "not there" or "lacking".
The Tamil word "இல்லை" can also mean "none", "not present", or "does not exist".
కాదు can also mean "also" or "as well".
Urduنہ ہی
The word "نہ ہی" is composed of two negative particles that emphasize the negation.

Neither in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)都不
Chinese (Traditional)都不
"Neither" (都不) is a word in Mandarin Chinese used to indicate negation of two or more options. It is also used as an intensifier to emphasize the negative aspect of a situation.
While the word literally means "middle/in-between" (どち+ら+でもない), it can also mean "neither," "neither this nor that," or even "neither good nor bad."
Korean둘 다
The word '둘 다' is also an abbreviation of the word '모두다' (all), and can be used to emphasize a choice between two options.
Mongolianбас биш
The word "бас биш" may originate from the Sanskrit word "न" (na), meaning "not".
Myanmar (Burmese)မဟုတ်ပါ

Neither in South East Asian Languages

Indonesiantidak juga
The word "tidak juga" can also mean "not really" or "not that much" in Indonesian.
"Sanadyan" also refers to "even though", "although", and "but".
The word "ទាំង" is also used to mean "both" or "all" in Khmer, and derives from the Pali word "ubhaya,
Malaytidak juga
"Tidak juga" in Malay is not a compound of "tidak"+ "juga" but is derived from the negated form of "juga", which means "either".
In Thai, "ไม่" can also be an adjective meaning "un-", as in "imperfect" (ไม่สมบูรณ์) or "illegal" (ไม่ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย).
Vietnamesecũng không
In Vietnamese, "cũng không" can also mean "don't mention it" or "you're welcome".
Filipino (Tagalog)hindi rin

Neither in Central Asian Languages

Azerbaijaninə də
The word "nə də" ultimately comes from Persian and literally means "not even" or "not to say".
Kazakhекеуі де
The Kazakh word "екеуі де" can also refer to both parties involved in an agreement or situation.
The word 'дагы' has a Persian origin meaning 'also', which is still used as an alternate meaning in Uzbek, while in Kyrgyz its meaning has shifted to mean 'neither'.
The word “на” is cognate with Persian “nao/نه” with the same meaning and is also used in compounds such as “наҳор/nahor”. (neither day nor night, i.e. twilight) and “натоқат/notoqat” (neither patient nor impatient).
Turkmenýa-da ýok
"Na" can also mean "not" or "no" in the context of adjectives, as well as "than" in some comparative constructions.
Uyghurھەم ئەمەس

Neither in Pacific Languages

Hawaiianʻaʻole hoʻi
ʻaʻole hoʻi' can also mean "not yet" or "still not," indicating that a state or action has not yet occurred.
Maorikaua hoki
The phrase 'kaua hoki' can also express 'in addition', 'as well as', or 'moreover' but requires the conjunction 'me' after it.
Samoane leai foi
The Samoan term "e leai foi" can also be used to mean "not even" or "never".
Tagalog (Filipino)hindi rin
The word "hindi rin" is a conjunction that can also mean "not either" or "not even" in English.

Neither in American Indigenous Languages


Neither in International Languages

"Nek" is a contraction of "ne ek", an archaic form that meant "not even".
The Latin word "neque" can also mean "not even" or "nor".

Neither in Others Languages

Greekκανενα απο τα δυο
In modern Greek, "κανενα απο τα δυο" literally translates to "not any of the two," but can also mean "none" or "neither one of them."
In Hmong the word "thiab" is cognate with the Laotian word "thaay" and the Thai word "thai".
Qet in Kurdish can also mean 'a person of mixed origin' or 'a thing of mixed nature'.
"Hiçbiri" is a contraction of "hiç" (nothing) and "biri" (one), meaning "none" or "not one" in Turkish.
The Xhosa word "hayi" is also sometimes used to express agreement or understanding.
Yiddishאויך ניט
The Yiddish word אויך ניט (oykh nit) can also mean "nor", "not even", or "not at all", depending on the context.
The Zulu word 'hhayi' can also mean 'nor' or 'not'
Assameseএটাও নহয়
Bhojpuriना ई ना ऊ
Dogriकोई नेईं
Filipino (Tagalog)hindi rin
Ilocanouray ania
Kurdish (Sorani)هیچ یەک
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯑꯃꯠꯇ ꯑꯣꯏꯗꯕ
Mizoni lo ve ve
Oromolachuuyyuu miti
Odia (Oriya)ନା
Quechuamana mayqinpas
Sanskritन वा
Tatarшулай ук
Tsongaxin'we xa

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