So-called in different languages

So-Called in Different Languages

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

Updated on March 6, 2024

The phrase 'so-called' is a fascinating piece of the English language. It's used to express skepticism or uncertainty about a term's accuracy or appropriateness. This phrase has cultural significance, often used in debates, discussions, and even daily conversations to question popular labels or norms.

Moreover, understanding the translations of 'so-called' in different languages can provide unique insights into various cultures. For instance, in Spanish, 'llamado así' is used, while in German, 'sogenannt' is the equivalent. In French, it's 'dénommé' and in Japanese, 'so-yuusha'.

The history of 'so-called' is as interesting as its usage. It originated from the Old English 'swa' and 'named', which evolved into 'so-named' in Middle English. Over time, it was shortened to 'so-called', and its current usage as a skeptical or distancing phrase emerged.

Given this rich background, it's no wonder that many language enthusiasts want to know the translation of 'so-called' in various languages. Explore the list below to discover how this phrase is expressed in different cultures and languages around the world.


So-Called in Sub-Saharan African Languages

The word "sogenaamde" derives from the Dutch "zogenaamd" meaning "so-called" or "alleged".
The word "ተብሏል" can also mean "it is said that" or "they say".
Hausaabin da ake kira
In Hausa, 'abin da ake kira' literally translates to 'the thing that is called'. It is often used to indicate that something is not necessarily what it is called or that its true nature is not as it seems.
Some Igbo communities use the same word ("akpọrọ") to refer to both "so-called" and "actual" or "real."
Malagasyantsoina hoe
In some contexts, "antsoina hoe" can have an ironical meaning, insinuating that a person is not actually as described by others.
Nyanja (Chichewa)otchedwa
Nyanja "otchedwa" originated from the past participle of "kutchedwa" (to be called), so it literally means "that which has been called."
The word 'zvinonzi' in Shona is also used to mean 'the aforesaid' or 'the aforementioned'.
Somaliloogu yeero
The word "loogu yeero" literally means "something called by its name".
Sesothoho thoeng
"Ho thoeng" can also mean "allegedly" or "it is said".
Kinachojulikana has an alternate meaning related to a rumor or gossip.
Xhosaoko kubizwa
In Xhosa, "oko kubizwa" is a term used to indicate something or someone is regarded or perceived in a particular way, implying a level of acceptance or consensus among a group.
Yorubaki-npe ni
"Ki-npe ni" literally translates to "what is called".
Okuthiwa can also mean to be known as or to be referred to as.
Bambaramin bɛ wele ko
Ewesi woyɔna be
Kinyarwandaicyo bita
Lingalaoyo babengaka
Lugandakye bayita
Sepediseo se bitšwago
Twi (Akan)nea wɔfrɛ no

So-Called in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

Arabicما يسمى
In Arabic, "ما يسمى" also means "what is called" or "what is known as".
Hebrewמה שנקרא
The Hebrew phrase "מה שנקרא" (literally "what is called") can also be used to introduce a definition or explanation in a neutral or objective way.
Pashtoنومول شوی
The word "نومول شوی" (so-called) in Pashto literally means "by name" or "in name only".
Arabicما يسمى
In Arabic, "ما يسمى" also means "what is called" or "what is known as".

So-Called in Western European Languages

Albaniantë ashtuquajturat
"Të ashtuquajturat" etymologically comes from the past passive form of the verb "ashtuqoj", which means "to make something seem like it is another thing".
The word "deiturikoak" in Basque is derived from the verb "deitu" meaning "to call" and the suffix "-koak" meaning "the ones that are called".
Catalanels anomenats
The plural Spanish phrase "los llamados" may have influenced "els anomenats"
The term 'takozvani' derives from the Slavic form 'tako zvani', which translates as 'thus called' or 'called as such' in English.
The Danish word "såkaldte" is cognate with the English and Norwegian word "so-called".
Zogenaamde is derived from Middle Dutch ' sogenaemt ', meaning ' so named ', or ' with that name '
The term "so-called" originally meant "thus named" or "thus styled," with the modern implication of irony or skepticism first appearing in the 1600s.
The French word "soi-disant" originally meant "self-proclaimed" or "self-styled".
The word "so-called" is derived from a 16th-century term meaning "called by that name."
Galicianos chamados
The Galician word "os chamados" literally means "the called ones" in English, but is typically used to mean "so-called".
The term 'sogenannt' can also be used to express skepticism, irony, or disdain towards the 'so-called' thing.
The word “svokallaða” is also used in a sarcastic sense, when the speaker doesn’t believe that something is what it is called.
Irishmar a thugtar air
The Irish phrase 'mar a thugtar air' directly translates to 'as it is called', but is used to mean 'so-called'.
In Italian, «cosiddetto» can also mean «known as» or «known under the name of».
Sougenannten is also used in German with the same meaning and spelling.
Maltesehekk imsejħa
The alternate meaning or etymology of Hekk Imsejħa is uncertain.
"Såkalt" can also mean "self-proclaimed" or "pretending to be something they're not."
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)assim chamado
In Portuguese, the phrase "assim chamado" can also mean "allegedly" or "supposedly."
Scots Gaelicris an canar
"Ris an canar" can also mean "that is to say" in Scots Gaelic.
Spanishasí llamado
In Spanish, «así llamado» can also mean «false», «notorious», «dubious, or «of ill repute.»
Swedishså kallade
The Swedish word "så kallade" can also be used to indicate something that is not true or accurate.
Welshfel y'i gelwir
The word "fel y'i gelwir" ("so-called") in Welsh is a compound of the preposition "fel" ("like") and the verb "gelwir" ("is called"). It can also be used to mean "allegedly" or "supposedly".

So-Called in Eastern European Languages

Belarusianтак званы
The Belarusian "так званы" comes from the Russian word "так называемый", and shares the same alternate meaning of "assumed but not confirmed".
The word 'tako(z)vani' can also mean 'alleged', 'purported', or 'reputed'.
The word "т.нар" is derived from the Greek word "το καλούμενο" meaning "the so-called".
The abbreviation "tzv." is derived from the phrase "takzvaný" meaning "so-called".
The word "nn" in Estonian originated from the abbreviation "nagu näha" ("as you can see"), which was often used before quotations or examples, and eventually became a shorthand for "so-called".
Finnishniin sanottu
The phrase "niin sanottu" in Finnish derives from the verb "sanoa" (to say) and the phrase "niin kutsuttu" (also meaning "so-called").
The term "úgynevezett" in Hungarian can also be used to express sarcasm or irony.
The word "ts" in Latvian also refers to "this" or "these" in the context of a list or enumeration.
The word "vadinamasis" derives from the Lithuanian verb "vadinti," meaning "to call" or "to name."
The abbreviation "т.н." is also commonly used to mean "theoretical and practical".
Polishtak zwane
The Polish phrase "tak zwane" is derived from the German "sogenannte" and can have the additional meaning of "alleged" or "claimed."
«Așa-zisul» provine din «a se zice» + «prezentare peiorativă sau ironică a unui fapt» (DEX)
Russianтак называемый
"Так называемый" также используется в ироничном смысле для критики или опровержения чего-либо.
The word "тзв" is an abbreviation of the Serbian phrase "такозвани", which means "so-called" or "alleged."
The word "tzv." in Slovak is an abbreviation of "takzvaný," which means "so-called."
Sloveniantako imenovani
The phrase 'tako imenovani' (so-called) in Slovenian literally translates to 'thus named'.
Ukrainianтак званий
The Ukrainian phrase "так званий" (so-called) is often used to introduce a new concept or idea, or to provide a different perspective on an existing one.

So-Called in South Asian Languages

The Bengali word "তথাকথিত" is derived from the Sanskrit word "तथाकथित" meaning "alleged" or "claimed".
Gujaratiજેથી - કહેવાતા
The word "જેથી - કહેવાતા" in Gujarati is derived from the Gujarati word "જેથી" which means "in order to" and the English word "so-called" which means "having a name or reputation that is often not deserved".
The word "तथाकथित" literally means "thus spoken" and refers to something that is supposedly true but may not be.
Kannadaಎಂದು ಕರೆಯಲ್ಪಡುವ
ಎಂದು ಕರೆಯಲ್ಪಡುವ in Kannada shares its etymology with "so-called" in English from their common root in Middle English.
The word വിളിക്കപ്പെടുന്ന has a variety of meanings, including "so-called" and "called". However, the term can also be used in a more general sense to mean "named" or "identified".
The word 'तथाकथित' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'तथा' meaning 'so' and 'कथित' meaning 'spoken' or 'said'.
The word 'तथाकथित' originates from Sanskrit, where 'तथा' means 'that' and 'कथित' means 'spoken', hence the meaning 'so-called'. It can also convey irony or doubt about a claim's veracity.
The Punjabi word ਅਖੌਤੀ (akhotī) likely originated from the Sanskrit word "akhaṇḍita," meaning "whole" or "undisturbed."
Sinhala (Sinhalese)ඊනියා
The word ඊනියා is also used to refer to a kind of snake known as the Russell's viper.
Tamilஎன்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறது
Teluguఅని పిలవబడే
Its alternate meaning is "termed".
Urduنام نہاد
The word "نام نہاد" (so-called) in Urdu can also mean "pretended" or "feigned".

So-Called in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)所谓的
所谓 (suǒ wèi) literally means “so-called” or “alleged,” but can also imply skepticism or doubt.
Chinese (Traditional)所謂的
所謂的 (so-called) can also refer to “the way that is talked about”.
"いわゆる" can also mean "in general" or "in broad terms" in Japanese.
'소위' means 'so-called', but it can also mean 'a rumor' or 'a false report'
Mongolianгэж нэрлэдэг
The Mongolian word "гэж нэрлэдэг" (so-called) originates from the word "гэх" (to say), indicating that something is named or referred to as something else.
Myanmar (Burmese)ဒါခေါ်
ဒါခေါ် is also used figuratively to mean someone's purported or alleged qualities.

So-Called in South East Asian Languages

Indonesianyang disebut
The Indonesian word "yang disebut" can also mean "referred to as" or "known as."
Javanesesing diarani
The Javanese word "sing diarani" derives from the Sanskrit word "san-giran", meaning "that which is spoken of".
The word "ដែលគេហៅថា" is sometimes used in the sense of "alleged" or "reputed" to convey a sense of doubt or uncertainty about a claim or assertion.
"Kononnya" in Malay is related to the words "konon" (hearsay) and "nyanya" (grandmother), implying that something is based on unverified information.
The term "ที่เรียกว่า" (so-called) in Thai is commonly used as a disclaimer, indicating that the subsequent statement may not necessarily be true or accurate.
Vietnamesecái gọi là
'Cái gọi là' translates to 'so-called' in English. It can also refer to a 'category' or 'type'.
Filipino (Tagalog)tinatawag na

So-Called in Central Asian Languages

The word "sözdə" can also mean "allegedly" or "supposedly" in Azerbaijani.
Kazakhдеп аталады
The phrase "деп аталады" in Kazakh is derived from the verb "ату" (to call, to name) and the noun "атау" (name, title).
Kyrgyzдеп аталган
The Kyrgyz word "деп аталган" ("so-called") also means "allegedly" or "ostensibly".
Tajikба ном
Tajik "ба ном" is borrowed from Persian "بنام" and also means "in the name of"
Uzbekdeb nomlangan
"deb nomlangan" is a term used in Uzbek to refer to something that is generally accepted as true but may not be entirely accurate or complete.

So-Called in Pacific Languages

Hawaiiankāhea ʻia
The Hawaiian word "kāhea ʻia" can also mean "to be called out to" or "to be summoned."
Maoripera-ka karanga
The term "pera-ka karanga" comes from the word "pera" (bell) and the phrase "ka karanga" (to sound), as bells were traditionally used to call people together
Samoane taʻua
The word "e taʻua" in Samoan can also mean "referred to as" or "known as."
Tagalog (Filipino)tinawag
The word "tinawag" in Tagalog is derived from the root word "tawag," which means "to call," and is often used to preface a term or name that is not widely recognized or accepted.

So-Called in American Indigenous Languages


So-Called in International Languages

Esperantotiel nomata
In Esperanto, "tiel nomata" also means "so-called" or "so-named"
Latinideo dicitur,
Ide dicitur, also known as the so-called, refers to something that is not necessarily true but is commonly referred to as such.

So-Called in Others Languages

The word 'λεγόμενο' derives from the Greek verb 'λέγω' (to say) and means 'what is said' or 'the so-called'.
Hmongsib nwj
The Hmong word "sib nwj" can also mean "claimed, alleged, rumored, supposed, reputed."
Kurdishtê gotin
The term "tê gotin" can also be used to express sarcasm or irony, implying that something is not as it seems.
The term 'lafta' in Turkish, derived from Arabic, can also refer to 'idle talk,' 'mere words,' or a 'verbal agreement'.
Xhosaoko kubizwa
In Xhosa, "oko kubizwa" is a term used to indicate something or someone is regarded or perceived in a particular way, implying a level of acceptance or consensus among a group.
Yiddishאַזוי גערופענע
אַזוי גערופענע (azoj gerufene) literally means "thus called" or "so called" and can be used to refer to something that is not truly or officially named as such.
Okuthiwa can also mean to be known as or to be referred to as.
Bhojpuriतथाकथित बा
Filipino (Tagalog)tinatawag na
Kriowe dɛn kɔl
Kurdish (Sorani)بەناو
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯍꯥꯌꯅꯥ ꯀꯧꯏ꯫
Mizoan tih chu
Oromokan jedhamu
Odia (Oriya)ତଥାକଥିତ |
Tatarшулай дип атала
Tsongaleswi vuriwaka

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