Pretend in different languages

Pretend in Different Languages

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

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'pretend' is a common English verb that means to give a false appearance of being, feeling, or doing. It's a word that we use in our everyday lives, and it's one that has been a part of our cultural lexicon for centuries. But have you ever wondered how to say 'pretend' in other languages? Knowing the translation of this word in different languages can be a fun and interesting way to expand your vocabulary and connect with people from different cultures.

For example, in Spanish, 'pretend' is 'fingir', while in French, it's 'faire semblant'. In German, it's 'vortäuschen', and in Italian, it's 'simulare'. Each of these translations offers a unique cultural perspective on the concept of pretending, and learning them can be a great way to deepen your understanding of the world around you.

So, whether you're a language learner, a culture enthusiast, or just someone who's curious about the world, exploring the translations of 'pretend' in different languages is a great place to start. Keep reading to discover more fascinating translations of this common English word!


Pretend in Sub-Saharan African Languages

The Afrikaans word "voorgee" derives from the Dutch "voorgeven" (to pretend), which shares the same root as "geven" (to give)
The word "ማስመሰል" is also used to mean "to show" or "to indicate".
The Hausa word "riya" can also mean "to mimic" or "to show off"
Igbomee ka hà
Mee ka hà' is a phrase used to describe someone who is pretending to be something they are not.
The word "mody" in Malagasy also means "to try" or "to put to the test."
Nyanja (Chichewa)yerekezerani
The word 'yerekezerani' comes from the word 'yerekeza', meaning 'to show', suggesting that pretending involves presenting a different or deceptive appearance.
The word "kunyepedzera" can also be used to mean "imitate or "act like" someone or something.
Somaliiska dhigid
The Somali verb "iska dhigid" also means "to refuse" or "to deny", and is derived from the verb "dhigi" meaning "to put".
In the Sesotho language, "iketsa" can also mean "to imitate" or "to act like someone else."
The word "kujifanya" is derived from the verb "kujifanya", which means "to cause oneself to do something"}
The word "zenzisa" in Xhosa is derived from the stem "zenz-," meaning "to resemble" or "to imitate," and is often used to indicate feigning an action or behavior.
The word "dibọn" in Yoruba also means "to deceive" or "to mislead".
The word "ukuzenzisa" means both "to pretend" and "to behave in a self-important way" in Zulu.
Bambaraka kɛ i na fɔ
Ewewᴐ abe
Lingalakosala neti
Twi (Akan)hyɛ da

Pretend in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

تظاهر originally meant 'to help' and now has the additional meaning 'to pretend'.
Hebrewלהעמיד פנים
The verb לHEַעֲמִיד פָּנִים (lahaamid panim), "pretend," contains within it the word פָּנִים (panim, "face"), hinting at the concept of putting on a particular face or expression that conceals one's true feelings or intentions.
Tendtends are also called sham battles or mock fights, and are commonly used in training exercises.
تظاهر originally meant 'to help' and now has the additional meaning 'to pretend'.

Pretend in Western European Languages

The word "pretendoj" in Albanian comes from the Latin word "praetendere", meaning "to stretch out or forth".
Basqueitxurak egin
The Basque word 'itxurak egin' literally translates to 'to make a face' or 'to make a gesture'.
The word "fingir" in Catalan has been derived from the Latin verb "fingere", meaning "to form" or "to shape".
Croatianpretvarati se
In addition to 'pretend', 'pretvarati se' can also mean 'disguise oneself'.
Danishlade som om
The etymology of the word "lade som om" is uncertain. One theory is that it comes from the Old Norse verb "láta", meaning "to let", and the preposition "som", meaning "as if". Another theory is that it comes from the German verb "laden", meaning "to load" or "to pretend".
Dutchdoen alsof
The Dutch "doen alsof" is a calque from a French phrase that means literally 'do as if'.
'Pretend' stems from the Latin word 'praetendere', meaning 'to stretch out before or in front'. The word's evolution through Old French resulted in its current meaning of 'to feign or simulate'. It originally held connotations of 'claiming' or 'asserting', rather than its modern association with deception.
Frenchfaire semblant
Semblant (Old French) means "appearance" or "outward show,
In Frisian, "pretend" also means "to make a claim".
Finxir derives from Latin "fingere" and can also mean "to feign" or "to simulate"
Germanso tun als ob
"So tun als ob" originates from a medieval legal term meaning "to act as if"
The Icelandic verb "þykjast" evolved from the Proto-Germanic *þūnkjaną meaning "to seem, appear, or think".
The word "ligean" in Irish can also mean "a lie" or "a falsehood".
The Latin origin of "fingere" alludes to shaping and molding, suggesting the creation of a false reality.
Luxembourgishmaachen wéi
The word "maachen wéi" is also used in the sense of "to make believe" or "to imagine".
The word “taparsi” in Maltese comes from the Arabic word “taşâwur” which means “to imagine”.
Norwegianlate som
"Late som" means "pretend" in Norwegian, but also "act as" or "give the impression of" in a more neutral sense.
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)fingir
In Portuguese, "fingir" can also mean "to fake" or "to dissimulate".
Scots Gaeliccuir a-mach
The Scots Gaelic phrase "cuir a-mach" may also refer to putting something away, especially in a closet.
Spanish "pretendiente" (pretender), from Latin "praetend-ere": "to stretch out, expose, set forth."
The word "låtsas" is derived from the Old Norse word "látaz", meaning "to look as if". It can also mean "to seem" or "to appear".
The word 'esgus' (pretend) is also used in Welsh to mean 'make-believe' or 'feign'.

Pretend in Eastern European Languages

"Прыкідвацца" in Belarusian can also mean "to measure", "to try on", "to figure out", or "to plan.
Bosnianpretvarati se
The word 'pretvarati se' comes from the Slavic root 'tvoriti', meaning 'to create' or 'to form'.
Bulgarianпреструвам се
The verb "преструвам се" also means "to be disguised". Its etymology is unclear, possibly from the Greek word "προσποιέω" (prospopoieo).
The Czech word "předstírat" comes from the Proto-Slavic word *pьrьdstiraǫti, meaning "to spread out".
The word 'teeselda' is derived from the German 'täuschen', meaning 'to deceive'.
The word 'teeskennellä' is derived from the Swedish word 'teisken' meaning 'to do something feigned or unreal'.
"Színlelni" (pretend) is also used in the context of stage acting, meaning "to play a role".
The Latvian word "izlikties" is derived from the word "izlikums", which means "bend" or "curve". This suggests that pretending involves bending or changing one's behavior or appearance.
The word "apsimesti" is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *me- "to measure", and originally meant "to take on a role or appearance".
The word "преправам" comes from the Old Church Slavonic word "прѣправамъ", which means "to make ready" or "to prepare."
Polishstwarzać pozory
"Stwarzać pozory" derives from the word "stworzyć" (to create), signifying the act of "creating an appearance" or "making something seem real.
The word "pretinde" also means "to pretend" in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan.
"Притворяться" is derived from "творить", meaning "do or create", and means literally "to appear or create something different."
Serbianпретварати се
The verb "pretvarati se" can also mean to "disguise oneself" or to "feign".
Slovak "predstierať" comes from Proto-Slavic, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *strajanan "to spread, extend, cover".
Slovenianpretvarjati se
The Slovenian word "pretvarjati se" derives from the Proto-Slavic verb *pretvoriti, meaning "to transform"
"Вдавати" also means "to push" or "to force in". In that sense, it is a cognate of the German word "geben" (to give).

Pretend in South Asian Languages

Bengaliভান করা
"ভান করা" is derived from the Sanskrit word "bhrānt" which means "deceived" or "deluded".
Gujaratiડોળ કરવો
The Gujarati word “ડોળ કરવો” finds its origin in the Sanskrit term "dolan," meaning "to swing" or "to shake."
नाटक (pretend) is derived from Sanskrit नाताक (nṇatakam), meaning 'a dance, drama, or play'.
ನಟಿಸು in Kannada can also mean "to play (of a musical instrument)" or "to imitate".
നടിക്കുക's other meanings include 'to walk,' 'to behave,' and 'to act in a play'
The Marathi word "ढोंग" also means "hypocrisy" or "falsehood".
The word "बहाना" is derived from the Sanskrit root "वहन" (to carry) and means "to carry a burden" or "to make an excuse."
Sinhala (Sinhalese)මවාපානවා
මවාපානවා' can be broken down into two words: 'මව', meaning 'false', and 'පානවා', meaning 'to hold or wear'. Thus, it can also mean 'to hold or wear something false' or 'to present a false appearance'.
The word also refers to the act of ostentation or display of wealth or belongings.

Pretend in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)假装
假装 comes from 假 (‘false’) and 装 (“act, dress to be”). So it originally meant
Chinese (Traditional)假裝
The word "ふりをする" (pretend) originally meant "to shake" or "to wave" in Japanese.
The word '체하다' can also mean 'to look like' or 'to resemble'.
The word "жүжиглэх" can also mean "to play" or "to amuse oneself".
Myanmar (Burmese)ဟန်ဆောင်

Pretend in South East Asian Languages

The word "berpura-pura" can be associated with a sense of pretense, especially in the context of one's actions and intentions.
Ndalan in Javanese is also the word for "path" or "road". The phrase "ndalan lurus" literally means "straight path" but idiomatically means "honest" or "upright".
The Khmer word "ធ្វើពុត" can also mean "to imitate" or "to copy".
Laoທຳ ທ່າ
"ທ(ໍ)າ ທ່າ" (tham-tha) is also used to describe the way a person carries himself or herself, suggesting a sense of elegance or poise.
The word "berpura-pura" is the passive form of the verb "pura-pura", which means "to mimic" or "to take on the appearance of" something else.
The word 'แสร้งทำ' in Thai can be used to describe both pretending to do something and doing something carelessly or without purpose.
Vietnamesegiả vờ
"Giả vờ" có thể có nghĩa là "làm ra vẻ" hoặc "làm như thật".
Filipino (Tagalog)magpanggap

Pretend in Central Asian Languages

The word "iddia" also means "claim" or "assertion" in Azerbaijani.
Kazakhтүр көрсету
In Kazakh, "түр көрсету" can also mean "to make a demonstration" or "to show off."
Kyrgyzтүр көрсөтүү
The word "түр көрсөтүү" in Kyrgyz can also mean "to perform a theatrical play" or "to behave in a certain way to make an impression on someone."
Tajikвонамуд кардан
Вонамуд кардан can also mean "play the роль, personate, represent, impersonate, depict, copy, simulate, mock, imitate, or ape."
Turkmenöňe sür
The word "go'yo" in Uzbek can also mean "to pretend" or "to imagine".

Pretend in Pacific Languages

"Hoʻokohukohu" in Hawaiian also means "to deceive," "to lead astray," or "to delude."
The word 'faahua' can also mean 'mockery'
The Samoan "fa'a" often denotes causation, as in "fa'a"ma"i" (make ill) or "fa'a"gogo" (cause to tremble).
Tagalog (Filipino)magpanggap
The root word "pagpangap" has alternate meanings such as "a shield to protect oneself" or "an object that provides protection"

Pretend in American Indigenous Languages


Pretend in International Languages

The Esperanto word "ŝajnigi" derives from the Polish "szyn" meaning "shine", suggesting an appearance that is not real.
The Latin word "simulare" also means "to imitate" or "to resemble".

Pretend in Others Languages

In its ancient form, προσποιέομαι means to add something; in the middle form, it means to pretend; and in the new form, it means to appear.
Hmongua txuj
The Hmong word "ua txuj" can also mean "imitate" or "mock".
The verb "bervedanîn" is the Kurdish for "pretendre" in French or "pretendere" in Italian, but it is derived from the Kurdish word "berd" or the French word "vert", which means "green".
Turkishnumara yapmak
The Turkish expression "numara yapmak" literally translates to "to do a number," which suggests manipulating others for personal gain.
The word "zenzisa" in Xhosa is derived from the stem "zenz-," meaning "to resemble" or "to imitate," and is often used to indicate feigning an action or behavior.
The Yiddish word "פאַרהיטן" is derived from the German word "verhüten", which means "to prevent".
The word "ukuzenzisa" means both "to pretend" and "to behave in a self-important way" in Zulu.
Assameseভাও জোৰা
Bhojpuriबहाना बनावल
Dhivehiކަމެއް ވީކަމަށް ހެދުން
Dogriब्हान्ना करना
Filipino (Tagalog)magpanggap
Kriomek lɛk
Kurdish (Sorani)نواندن
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯇꯧꯁꯤꯟꯅꯕ
Odia (Oriya)ଛଳନା କର |

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