Nobody in different languages

Nobody in Different Languages

Discover 'Nobody' in 134 Languages: Dive into Translations, Hear Pronunciations, and Uncover Cultural Insights.

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'nobody' is a common English term used to describe the absence of any person or the idea of insignificance. But did you know that this simple word has fascinating translations in different languages, shedding light on cultural perspectives and linguistic nuances?

For instance, in Spanish, 'nobody' is 'ningún/a' while in French, it's 'personne'. These translations offer a glimpse into how other cultures express the concept of nothingness or insignificance, adding depth to our understanding of language and culture.

Moreover, exploring the translations of 'nobody' can be an exciting journey into historical contexts too. For example, in Ancient Greek, 'nobody' was 'ουδείς' (oudeís), which was used in Homer's epics to denote a character who was literally 'no one', often with supernatural connotations.

So, whether you're a language enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or just someone curious about the world around you, delving into the translations of 'nobody' promises to be an enlightening experience.


Nobody in Sub-Saharan African Languages

Afrikaansniemand nie
"Niemand nie" is a double negative in Afrikaans, meaning "absolutely nobody".
Amharicማንም የለም
Hausaba kowa
"Ba kowa" in Hausa literally means "not anybody," highlighting the idea of exclusion or absence.
Igboọ dịghị onye
'Ọ dịghị onye' in Igbo literally means 'there is no person', but it also suggests a sense of insignificance or nonexistence.
Malagasytsy misy olona
Tsy misy olona, or "nobody" in Malagasy, can also mean "there is no one" or "it doesn't exist."
Nyanja (Chichewa)palibe aliyense
Palibe aliyense can also refer to an individual that is not important or has no significance
Shonahapana munhu
The Shona word "hapana munhu" can also mean "there is no one" or "it is deserted".
The word "qofna" can also be used to refer to an absent person, an unknown person, or an unspecified group of people.
Sesothoha ho motho
The word "ha ho motho" has several meanings in Sesotho, including "nobody," "there is nobody," and the idiomatic "there is something happening."
Swahilihakuna mtu
The Swahili word "hakuna mtu" comes from the Arabic phrase "haakuna mattaa", which means "there is not anything".
Xhosaakukho mntu
Akukho mntu also means "there is not" or something is "unavailable."
Yorubako si eniti o
The term "ko si eniti o" also means "there is no one that is not" in Yoruba language, implying that everyone is special.
The Zulu word "akekho" has a double etymology, meaning both "there is none" and "without a chief".
Bambaramɔgɔ si
Eweame aɖeke o
Lingalamoto moko te
Lugandatewali muntu
Sepediga go motho
Twi (Akan)ɛnyɛ obiara

Nobody in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

Arabicلا أحد
The word "لا أحد" is derived from the words "لا" (no), "أحد" (one). It also means "no one" and "not even one."
Hebrewאף אחד
"אף אחד" (nobody) literally means "no nose" in Hebrew, and is cognate with Arabic "انف" (nose).
Pashtoهیڅ نه
هیڅ نه can also be used to emphasize the negative, meaning "absolutely nothing".
Arabicلا أحد
The word "لا أحد" is derived from the words "لا" (no), "أحد" (one). It also means "no one" and "not even one."

Nobody in Western European Languages

The Albanian word "askush" is thought to have originated from Latin "nescius", meaning "ignorant" or "unknown".
Basqueinor ez
The Basque word "inor ez" ("nobody") appears with the same meaning in medieval texts but with a totally different spelling: "enhor ez".
The word "ningú" derives from the Latin "ne unus quidem", meaning "not even one."
The Croatian word "nitko" shares its etymology with the Slavic word "nikъ", meaning both "no one" and "every man".
The word "ingen" can also mean "not a single one" or "none".
The word 'niemand' is derived from the Middle Dutch word 'niemen', which means 'no one' or 'nothing'.
The word "nobody" is derived from the Middle English phrase "not body," meaning literally "no one of any significance."
The word "personne" traces its origins to the Latin "persona," meaning "mask" or "character" in a theatrical performance.
The word ‘nimmen’ can be traced back to the Old Frisian term ‘niemenne’, originating from the Proto-Germanic word ‘neman’, ultimately deriving from the Proto-Indo-European root ‘ne-’, meaning ‘not’. In modern Frisian, the word can also signify ‘none’.
"Ninguén" may also mean "no one" or "not one" in Galician.
The word "Niemand" comes from Middle High German "niemen" meaning "no one". "Niemand" also means "an unknown person" or "a nobody".
The Icelandic word "enginn" may derive from an Old Norse phrase meaning "not one" or "none at all."
Irishaon duine
Aon duine ('nobody') may have derived from Middle Irish aen-duine ('one person').
Derived ultimately from Latin "nemo" meaning "not a man" (i.e., "nobody"), "nessuno" also retains an archaic use meaning "no one person" (i.e., "everybody").
The Luxembourgish word "keen" has the same origin as the German "keinerlei" meaning "no kind", "kein" meaning "no one".
The word "ħadd" is cognate with Arabic "ḥādd" (edge) and can also refer to a boundary or a limit.
The Norwegian word "ingen" (nobody) derives from the combination of "ne" (not) and "ein" (one), as nobody is not someone.
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)ninguém
"Ninguém" derives from the archaic pronoun "nen", used in old Portuguese for inanimate beings and animals.
Scots Gaelicduine
The word "duine" in Scots Gaelic also means "person" or "man" and is cognate with the Irish word "duine."
The Spanish word "nadie" derives from Latin "natus" and "dies", but is cognate with English "natal", "nativity" and French "naître".
An alternative Swedish synonym of "ingen" is "ingenjälp," meaning "no help." Another synonym is "ingenstans," meaning "nowhere."
In some areas of Wales, particularly Carmarthenshire, 'neb' is pronounced similarly to 'new' meaning 'one' which can create confusion.

Nobody in Eastern European Languages

In Belarusian, "ніхто" also refers to an evil or mischievous mythical creature that can take many animal guises to trick people.
The word "niko" also means "the son of Nikola".
The Bulgarian word "Никой" is related to Serbian and Croatian "nikakav" and "nikakav" in Macedonian and Montenegrin, all having the meaning of "non-essential" and related words in Russian, Czech and other Slavic languages.
The word "nikdo" in Czech is composed of the negating prefix "ni" with the indefinite form "kdo" meaning "who", thus originally referring to an indeterminate person.
Estonianmitte keegi
"Mitte keegi" translates as "nobody" but literally means "not anyone".
"Kukaan" can mean "anyone" in interrogatives and "no one" in negatives.
"Senki" is originally a compound word, composed of the pronoun "se" (himself/herself) and the archaic negative "-ki" (not). Nowadays it is used for the third person (like in "senki nincs otthon" (nobody is home)) or as a general indefinite pronoun.
The Latvian word "neviens" (nobody) shares a root with the word "nieki" (nothing).
The word "niekas" in Lithuanian is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root "*ne" meaning "not" and "*kʷi" meaning "who".
Etymology-wise a cognate of Greek "οὐδείς" (oudeis), meaning "not one".
The word "nikt" is derived from the Slavic word "nikъ", meaning "not one".
The Romanian word "nimeni" is a contraction of the phrase "nici un om" meaning "not a single person"
The Russian word "никто" (nobody) is derived from the Old Church Slavonic "никъто" (no one), which in turn is derived from the Proto-Slavic "nikyjьto" (not-somebody).
'Нико' is a Serbo-Croatian word which can mean both 'nobody' and 'someone'
Nikto is a diminutive of the Slovak name Nikodém (Nicodemus).
In the 15th century, “nihče” meant 'no one' but also 'each one'.
The Ukrainian word "ніхто" is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *nekʷ-, meaning "not one".

Nobody in South Asian Languages

Bengaliকেউ না
The word "কেউ না" can also mean "no one" or "anyone" in Bengali, depending on the context.
Gujaratiકોઈ નહી
The Gujarati word "કોઈ નહી" (ko-i na-hi) literally means "no one", but it can also be used to express feelings of disappointment or resignation.
Hindiकोई भी नहीं
In English, the word "nobody" means "not anybody." In Hindi, the word "कोई भी नहीं" ("koi bhi nahin") literally means "not even anybody."
"ಯಾರೂ" is also used as the name of an ancient Indian philosopher.
"ആരും" is derived from the Tamil word "ஆர்" meaning "who", indicating a lack of specific individuals.
Marathiकोणीही नाही
Nepaliकुनै हैन
The term "कुनै हैन" is derived from "कोहि" (who) and "छैन" (not), implying the complete absence of any individual.
Punjabiਕੋਈ ਨਹੀਂ
Sinhala (Sinhalese)කවුරුවත් නැහැ
Tamilயாரும் இல்லை
The word "ఎవరూ" can also be used to refer to inanimate things or abstract concepts implying a lack thereof.
Urduکوئی نہیں

Nobody in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)没有人
In Chinese, "没有人" can also mean "an insignificant person" or "a nobody".
Chinese (Traditional)沒有人
The character "沒" means "not" while "有人" means "anybody", so "沒有人" literally means "not anybody".
In addition to meaning "nobody," the word "誰も" can also mean "everyone" in Japanese, due to the negative prefix "な" indicating an unexpected or surprising situation.
"아무도" can mean both "anybody" and "nobody" in Korean because it literally means "the other extreme". In "아무", "아" means "this extreme" and "무" means "the other extreme".
Mongolianхэн ч биш
"Хэн ч биш" phrase in Mongolian is derived from the word "хүний" (human) and means "no human" or "none".
Myanmar (Burmese)ဘယ်သူမှ

Nobody in South East Asian Languages

Indonesiantak seorangpun
The word "tak seorangpun" is derived from the Javanese and Sundanese languages, and originally meant "not one person".
Javaneseora ana wong
The Javanese phrase "ora ana wong" (literally "there is no person") also carries the connotation of "insignificant" or "of no account."
Malaytiada siapa
'Tiada siapa' is a conjunction of 'tiada' ('no') and 'siapa' ('who'), thus literally meaning 'nobody'.
The word "ไม่มีใคร" can also be used to mean "not anyone" or "no one".
Vietnamesekhông ai
The word "không ai" literally means "not who" which refers to "no human" and therefore means "nobody" when translated into English.
Filipino (Tagalog)walang tao

Nobody in Central Asian Languages

Azerbaijaniheç kim
"Heç kim" in Azerbaijani comes from the Persian word "hiç kimse", which literally means "not anyone".
"Ешкім" in Kazakh is cognate with the Turkish "es", meaning "companion".
Kyrgyzэч ким
Эч ким originated from the root “эч” (“nothing”) and has a negative connotation.
Tajikҳеҷ кас
The Tajik word "ҳеҷ кас" ("nobody") stems from the Persian word "هیچکس" ("nobody"), which means "no one".
Turkmenhiç kim
Uzbekhech kim
In modern Uzbek, "hech kim" derives from "hech" (nothing) and "kim" (who), originally meaning "not anyone or anything".

Nobody in Pacific Languages

Hawaiianʻaʻohe kanaka
ʻAʻohe kanaka can be used as a humble way to refer to oneself or one's group, in contrast to the more formal ʻaʻohe mea (nothing).
The word "tangata" in Maori can also mean "other" or "outsider".
Samoanleai seisi
The word "leai seisi" can also be used to mean "no one in particular" or "no one important."
Tagalog (Filipino)walang tao
"Walang tao" also means "there is nothing" in some instances.

Nobody in American Indigenous Languages

Aymarani khiti

Nobody in International Languages

The Esperanto word "neniu" derives from the Latin word "ne unus", meaning "not one".
As well as the meaning "nobody", "neminem" also can be translated as "no one," "not anyone," or "none".

Nobody in Others Languages

The Greek word "κανείς" derives from the phrase "ουδέ εις," meaning "not even one," and is cognate with the Latin "nemo."
Hmongtsis muaj leej twg
The Hmong word "tsis muaj leej twg" can also refer to a mythical creature that lives in the forest and is said to be invisible to humans.
The word "nekes" in Kurdish is a cognate of the Persian word "nakes" meaning "useless or worthless thing" and the Sanskrit word "nakis" meaning "deficient or lacking"
The word "kimse" comes from the phrase "kimse yok," meaning "there is no one."
Xhosaakukho mntu
Akukho mntu also means "there is not" or something is "unavailable."
In Yiddish culture, "קיינער" also refers to spirits that protect against evil
The Zulu word "akekho" has a double etymology, meaning both "there is none" and "without a chief".
Assameseকোনো নহয়
Aymarani khiti
Bhojpuriकेहू ना
Dhivehiއެއްވެސް މީހެއްނޫން
Dogriकोई नेईं
Filipino (Tagalog)walang tao
Ilocanosaan a siasinoman
Kurdish (Sorani)هیچ کەسێک
Maithiliकोनो नहि
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯀꯅꯥ ꯅꯠꯇꯕ
Oromonamni tokkollee
Odia (Oriya)କେହି ନୁହ
Quechuamana pipas
Tatarберкем дә
Tigrinyaዋላ ሓደ
Tsongaku hava

Click on a letter to browse words starting with that letter