Otherwise in different languages

Otherwise in Different Languages

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

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'otherwise' is a small but powerful term that indicates a contrasting scenario or course of action. Its significance lies in its ability to express conditions, warnings, and alternatives, making it a versatile word in many languages. Although its meaning remains consistent, the translation of 'otherwise' in different languages can offer a unique cultural perspective.

For instance, in Spanish, 'otherwise' translates to 'de otra forma' or 'en otro caso', reflecting the language's rich vocabulary and grammatical structure. In French, 'otherwise' becomes 'sinon', which is a single, straightforward word. Meanwhile, in German, 'otherwise' is translated as 'sonst', a short, sharp term that captures the essence of the original word.

Understanding the translation of 'otherwise' in various languages can enrich your communication skills and cultural awareness. By appreciating these linguistic nuances, you not only expand your vocabulary but also deepen your connection to the global community.


Otherwise in Sub-Saharan African Languages

The Afrikaans word "andersins" can also mean "strange" or "weird".
Amharic "አለበለዚያ" means "other than this," but also suggests that a condition must be fulfilled or an action must be completed first.
Hausain ba haka ba
In Hausa, "in ba haka ba" can also mean "in this case", or "if this is the case."
Igboma ọ bụghị
The Igbo word "ma ọ bụghị" is used to denote an alternative or exception, and also in the sense of "if not" or "unless".
Malagasyraha tsy izany
The word "raha tsy izany" is not of Malagasy origin, but a borrowing from Arabic words meaning "if not this."
Nyanja (Chichewa)apo ayi
The word "apo ayi" literally means "from another place" in Nyanja.
Shonakana zvisina kudaro
The word "kana zvisina kudaro" literally means "if one takes the horse", suggesting that something different happens if one doesn't take the horse.
Somalihadii kale
The word "hadii kale" can also be used to refer to the future, or to a different time or place.
Sesothoho seng joalo
The phrase "ho seng joalo" has its roots in the verb "ho sa" (to do), and suggests an alternative course of action.
The word "vinginevyo" in Swahili can also mean "in a different way" or "in a roundabout way."
The word "kungenjalo" comes from the verb "ukungenza" meaning "to do otherwise".
Yorubabibẹkọ ti
The Yoruba word "bibẹkọ ti" can also mean "on the other hand" or "conversely."
The word "kungenjalo" has other meanings in addition to "otherwise", such as "however" and "on the other hand".
Bambaran'o tɛ
Ewene menye nenem o la
Kinyarwandabitabaye ibyo
Lingalasoki te
Sepedigo sego fao
Twi (Akan)anyɛ saa a

Otherwise in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

Arabicغير ذلك
The Arabic word "غير ذلك" literally means "non-that" and can also mean "besides that" or "apart from that."
In Hebrew, "אחרת" not only means "otherwise" but can also refer to an alternative version or an opposite gender (feminine).
Pashtoبل ډول
The Pashto phrase "بل ډول" shares a root with the Persian word "بالا" meaning "above".
Arabicغير ذلك
The Arabic word "غير ذلك" literally means "non-that" and can also mean "besides that" or "apart from that."

Otherwise in Western European Languages

The word "përndryshe" originally meant "in a different form" in Old Albanian, and retained that meaning before specializing to its current meaning.
The word "bestela" derives from the Proto-Basque word *besta-, meaning "other" or "different".
Cataland'una altra manera
The Catalan d'una altra manera literally translates to 'of another manner' and also means 'in a different way'.
The word "inače" in Croatian can also mean "however" or "on the contrary."
In Danish, the word "ellers" has an etymological link to the Old Norse word "annars", meaning "in another way"
The prefix "anders-" can also mean "different" or "other" and is related to the English word "other".
The word "otherwise" originally meant "in a different direction" or "on the other side".
The etymology of “autrement” (“otherwise”) likely originates from “autre” (“other”) and the suffix “-ment” (“manner”), hence “in another manner”.
In western Frisian the word "oars" also means "ears" in the plural.
Galiciandoutro xeito
The Galician 'doutro xeito' derives from the Latin 'de altero exitu', meaning '(from) another exit (or way)'.
Andernfalls derives from the Middle High German phrase "an dern val" meaning "in the other case".
The Icelandic word "annars" is derived from the Old Norse word "annarr," which means "other" or "different."
Irisha mhalairt
The word "a mhalairt" can also mean "in other words" or "on the other hand" in Irish.
The word "altrimenti" also means "in another way" or "in a different way" in Italian.
The word “inkella” is an Arabisation of the Italian word “in caso”, meaning “in the event of” or “in the case of”.
Ellers, besides meaning "otherwise", is also an archaic form of the word *ellers* meaning "different" in some Norwegian dialects, and in Old Norse it was related to the concepts of "elsewhere", "foreign" or "strange".
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)de outra forma
"De outra forma" can also be translated as "however", "nevertheless" or "on the other hand".
Scots Gaelica chaochladh
A chaochladh can also mean, in a legal context, “on the one hand” and “on the other hand.”
Spanishde otra manera
The Spanish 'de otra manera' can also mean 'in another way' or 'otherwise'.
The word "annat" in Swedish does not mean "otherwise".
Welshfel arall
The Welsh phrase "fel arall" literally translates to "like other" in English.

Otherwise in Eastern European Languages

Belarusianу адваротным выпадку
Bosnianu suprotnom
The word "u suprotnom" can also mean "on the contrary" or "in contrast".
Bulgarianв противен случай
The word “в противен случай” can also mean “on the contrary” or “vice versa”.
Czechv opačném případě
Otherwise in Czech can also have the meanings "or else" and "or rather"
The word “muidu” is also used to indicate a state of being different, or unusual.
The Finnish word "muuten" is a contraction of "muu ten" meaning "other purpose-minded".
The word "másképp" is derived from the Old Hungarian word "másik" (meaning "different") and the suffix "-képp" (meaning "in a manner").
Latvian "citādi" (otherwise) is a contraction of "citu-" (other) and "ādi" (how).
The word "kitaip" can also mean "differently" or "in another way".
Macedonianво спротивно
The word "во спротивно" in Macedonian is of Slavic origin and is related to the words "спротив" (resistance) and "против" (against).
The term «inaczej» is sometimes used colloquially to mean «rather,» «however,» or «on the contrary» rather than «otherwise».
Romanianin caz contrar
In some contexts, "caz contrar" can also mean "on the contrary".
"иначе" (otherwise) could also mean "instead" or "or," and less frequently, "but"
The word «иначе» (inače) originated from the Old Church Slavonic word «инакъ» (inakŭ), which had the same meaning and is related to the German "anders" (different).
"Inak" can also mean different, unique.
"Drugače" also means "different" or "another" in Slovenian and derives from the Proto-Slavic word "drugъ" meaning "other".
The word "інакше" can also mean "differently," "in a different way," or "on the contrary."

Otherwise in South Asian Languages

The word অন্যথায় in Bengali can also mean 'in a different way', 'in the opposite manner', or 'as an alternative'.
"અન્યથા" in Gujarati is also used to describe something that is "contrary to expectations", and its literal meaning is "other way than expected."
The word "अन्यथा" is derived from the Sanskrit words "अन्य" (other) and "था" (place), signifying "in a different place" or "in a different way".
The word 'ಇಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ' (ill-ad-id-dare) in Kannada also means 'or else', 'in the alternative', and 'other than'.
The word "अन्यथा" comes from the Sanskrit word "अन्यत:" meaning "from another place". It can also mean "in a different way" or "in other words".
अन्यथा is derived from the Sanskrit words अन्य (anya) 'other' and था (tha) 'that'.
The word 'ਹੋਰ' ('hor') in Punjabi can also mean 'more', 'other', or 'different', depending on the context in which it is used.
Sinhala (Sinhalese)නැතිනම්
The word "නැතිනම්" is derived from the Sanskrit word "anyathā", meaning "in a different way" or "otherwise".
"இல்லையெனில்" is sometimes used to refer to someone who is single, unmarried or without a spouse.
లేకపోతే refers to the state of lacking, which can be used in the sense of "else" to indicate an alternative course of action.
It shares a root with "varna" meaning "color" or "complexion" in Sanskrit or with "warna" meaning "news" or "account" in Arabic.

Otherwise in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)除此以外
除此以外 (cí chú yìwài) can mean "everything else," "apart from," "other than that," or "in addition to."
Chinese (Traditional)除此以外
除此以外 (cǐchúyǐwài) is literally translated as “outside of this” and is sometimes used to mean “except”.
"さもないと" is written in katakana, suggesting a foreign origin, possibly from the Portuguese word "senão," meaning "if not."
Korean그렇지 않으면
This word comes from the Sino-Korean word '其如之'
Öөрөөр can also mean 'alone' or 'by oneself'.
Myanmar (Burmese)မဟုတ်ရင်

Otherwise in South East Asian Languages

Indonesianjika tidak
"Jika tidak" literally means "if not" and can also mean "or else".
Javaneseyen ora
(The phrase yen ora (otherwise) is a more formal equivalent to sing ora, which itself originated from sanes ora (same not); all of these mean otherwise and carry the same meaning.)
The Malay word "sebaliknya" can also mean "wrong" or "opposite"
"มิฉะนั้น" (otherwise) comes from the Sanskrit word "mithyathā", meaning "false" or "wrong."
Vietnamesenếu không thì
The word "nếu không thì" is derived from the Chinese phrase "如不", meaning "if not" or "if it is not so".
Filipino (Tagalog)kung hindi

Otherwise in Central Asian Languages

Azerbaijaniəks halda
The word “əks halda” directly translates to “the opposite way” or “the other way” in Azerbaijani.
The word "басқаша" can also mean "differently" or "in a different way".
The word "башкача" may also refer to "another time" or "later on" in Kyrgyz.
Tajikдар акси ҳол
Дар акси ҳол in Tajik and иначе in Russian are both derived from the Persian phrase "بِ عَکْسِ این حال" (beʿaksi in hâl), which literally means "in contrast to this case".
Uzbekaks holda
The Uzbek word "aks holda" can also mean "on the contrary" or "in contrast".

Otherwise in Pacific Languages

Hawaiiani ʻole
The Hawaiian word “i ʻole” can also mean “if not.”
Maoriki te kore
In Maori, "ki te kore" means literally "to the void," implying a non-existence or a state of nothingness.
Samoana leai
"A leai" is thought to be derived from "faalelei," meaning "the right way."
Tagalog (Filipino)kung hindi man
The phrase 'kung hindi man' can also be used as a standalone exclamation to express frustration or disappointment.

Otherwise in American Indigenous Languages


Otherwise in International Languages

"Alie" is also a common word for "alien" in Esperanto
Aliud is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root "alyo-", "other", and is cognate with English words such as "else" or "alien".

Otherwise in Others Languages

Greekσε διαφορετική περίπτωση
The Greek phrase "σε διαφορετική περίπτωση" is sometimes used to refer to "a different situation" or "an alternative scenario" in addition to its common meaning of "otherwise".
Hmongtxwv tsis pub
Txwv tsis pub originates from the verb 'pub' meaning 'to alter' or 'to change' and the classifier 'txwv tsis' meaning 'another kind or way'.
Kurdishwekî din
The phrase "wekî din" can also mean "alternatively" or "on the other hand" in Kurdish.
Turkishaksi takdirde
Literally translating to "lame fate", "aksi takdirde" has another meaning, referring to "unpleasant consequences".
The word "kungenjalo" comes from the verb "ukungenza" meaning "to do otherwise".
The Yiddish word אַנדערש likely stems from the German word "anders" and its own ancestor, the Proto-Germanic word "antharaz"
The word "kungenjalo" has other meanings in addition to "otherwise", such as "however" and "on the other hand".
Bhojpuriना त
Dogriनेईं ते
Filipino (Tagalog)kung hindi
Ilocanomaipapan ti sabali
Krioif nɔto dat
Kurdish (Sorani)ئەگەرنا
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯅꯠꯇ꯭ꯔꯕꯗꯤ
Mizoanih loh chuan
Oromokanaa achi
Odia (Oriya)ଅନ୍ୟଥା |
Quechuamana chayqa
Tigrinyaተዘይኮይኑ ግን
Tsongahandle ka swona

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