Whatever in different languages

Whatever in Different Languages

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

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'whatever' is a versatile and intriguing part of many languages, used to express indifference, dismissal, or as an intensifier. Its cultural importance is undeniable, often used in popular music, movies, and literature to convey a carefree attitude or resignation.

Did you know that 'whatever' has been adopted into other languages, such as 'quoi que ce soit' in French or 'was auch immer' in German? This adaptability showcases the word's significance and influence in global culture.

Understanding the translation of 'whatever' in different languages can help bridge communication gaps and deepen cultural appreciation. For instance, in Spanish, 'cualquier cosa' captures the essence of 'whatever', while in Japanese, 'なんでも' (nandemo) conveys a similar meaning.

Explore the many faces of 'whatever' and discover how this simple word connects us all. Here's a list of translations to get you started:


Whatever in Sub-Saharan African Languages

Afrikaanswat ook al
"Wat ook al" is a contraction of "wat ook" ("whatever") and "al" ("already"), and is typically used in a context where the speaker is already familiar with the subject.
The word ምንአገባኝ (mənaggəbaɲɲ) in Amharic can also mean "all the same" or "nevertheless".
The word "komai" in Hausa also means "anything", "at all", or "something", depending on the context.
Igboihe obula
Igbo people are often using the phrase 'Ihe obula' which mean any type of thing (good or bad)
Malagasyna inona na inona
The phrase "na inona na inona" literally translates to "it's whatever it is."
Nyanja (Chichewa)mulimonse
The word "mulimonse" is derived from the morphemes "muli" (all) and "-onse" (every), meaning "everything" or "every kind."
The word "chero" in Shona can also refer to "the act of doing something". Example: "Ndinoita chero", meaning "I am doing something", "I am busy", or "I am working."
Somaliwax kastoo
In Southern Somali, 'wax kastoo' can also mean 'everyone.'
Sesothoeng kapa eng
"Eng kapa eng" can also mean "every time" or "every which way" in Sesotho.
Vyovyote commonly appears at the start of a statement to imply a lack of enthusiasm or resignation.
Xhosanoba yintoni
The word "noba yintoni" can also be used to express indifference or dismissiveness.
Yorubaohunkohun ti
Ohunkohun ti may have originally meant something else, perhaps "the things of the earth" or "earthly possessions."
Zulunoma yini
The phrase "noma yini" can also carry meanings of defiance or indifference when uttered with appropriate tone of voice and body language.
Bambarafɛn o fɛn
Eweesi wònye ko
Kinyarwandaicyaricyo cyose
Luganda-nna -nna
Sepedieng le eng
Twi (Akan)ebiara

Whatever in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

Arabicايا كان
The Arabic word "ايا كان" (ʾayya kāna) is cognate with the Hebrew word "איכה" (ʾēkā) meaning "how," "in what way," and was originally used in Arabic as an interrogative phrase.
Hebrewמה שתגיד
"מה שתגיד" also means "that's what you say" and "how about you"
Pashtoهر څه چې
The word "هر څه چې" in Pashto can also mean "each" or "every".
Arabicايا كان
The Arabic word "ايا كان" (ʾayya kāna) is cognate with the Hebrew word "איכה" (ʾēkā) meaning "how," "in what way," and was originally used in Arabic as an interrogative phrase.

Whatever in Western European Languages

The word **cfaredo** is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *kʷer-*, meaning "to turn, to wind, to curve".
Basqueedozein dela ere
Though literally meaning 'what will be will be', edozein dela ere is often used to imply indifference or acceptance.
Catalanel que sigui
The Catalan phrase "el que sigui" not only means "whatever," but it is also used to express uncertainty or indifference.
Croatianšto god
Što god in Croatian derives from "što god hoćeš" meaning "whatever you want".
Danishuanset hvad
The word uanset hvad literally means "regardless of what" in Danish
Dutchwat dan ook
The Dutch "wat dan ook" also means "and what else", "and what's more", and "and so on".
The word "whatever" can be used as a pronoun, an adjective, an adverb, or an interjection.
Frenchpeu importe
Peu importe's 'peu' literally translates to 'little,' indicating a small amount of importance.
Frisianwat dan ek
Derived from archaic Frisian phrase "wat de ien ek, dat de oar ek", meaning "what one has, the other has".
Galiciano que sexa
Germanwie auch immer
The German word "wie auch immer" can also be used to indicate "how", "by whatever means" or "in any event."
Icelandichvað sem er
The Icelandic word "hvað sem er" can also mean "anything" or "everything".
In the Irish language, "cibé" is also used as a way of agreeing with someone enthusiastically, akin to the English "sure" or "of course".
Italianqualunque cosa
"Qualunque cosa" (lit. any thing) dates back to the Latin phrase "quale un que," which literally means "such a thing which."
Luxembourgishwat och ëmmer
Maltesemhux xorta
Norwegiansamme det
The phrase "samme det" is actually two words, "samme" meaning "same" and "det" meaning "it".
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)tanto faz
In Portuguese, "tanto faz" can also mean "the same thing" or "it doesn't matter".
Scots Gaelicge bith dè
The term 'ge bith dè' is Gaelic for 'whatever' and literally means 'what will be' or 'whatever may come'.
Spanishlo que sea
The phrase "lo que sea" literally translates to "the thing that is" or "the thing that might be," implying a broadness of possibilities.
Swedishvad som helst
The Swedish word "vad som helst" literally translates to "what as anything," revealing its original meaning as "anything whatsoever."
Welshbeth bynnag
"Beth bynnag" can refer to the whole of creation in addition to meaning "whatever".

Whatever in Eastern European Languages

Belarusianшто заўгодна
The Belarusian word "што заўгодна" literally translates to "what for anything", likely owing to its origin as a calque on the Russian "что угодно."
Bosniankako god
The phrase kako god is also used to express indifference or unwillingness to do something.
Bulgarianкакто и да е
The phrase "както и да е" literally means "as it is", but it is often used to express a sense of resignation or indifference similar to the English word "whatever."
Czechto je jedno
The Czech expression "To je jedno" literally translates to "that is one" and originally meant "that is the same" or "that is equal."
Estonianmida iganes
The word "mida iganes" has been suggested to be an abbreviation of "mida te iganes tahate", meaning "whatever you want" or "whatever you like."
Finnishaivan sama
Aivan sama translates directly to 'completely the same', implying a complete lack of any preference.
Hungariantök mindegy
"Tök mindegy" literally means "pumpkin is all the same".
Latvianneatkarīgi no tā
The Latvian word "neatkarīgi no tā" has a literal meaning of "no matter what" or "regardless".
"Nesvarbu" is thought to derive from "nesvãrus" ("weightless", "insignificant") or, less likely, "несвербеть" ("not to itch") in Russian.
Macedonianкако и да е
"Како и да е" derives from the expression "како и да" which means "in whatever way" and has also the extended meaning "nevertheless, however, still, all the same, anyhow".
The word "cokolwiek" is derived from the Proto-Slavic word "kolko" meaning "how much" or "how many".
Romanianindiferent de
The word "indiferent de" in Romanian is a calque of the French phrase "indifférent de," which means "regardless of."
Russianбез разницы
The idiom "без разницы" ("whatever") literally translates to "without difference".
Serbianшта год
In Slovak, 'hocičo' can also mean 'anything', 'something', or 'whoever', depending on the context.
"Karkoli" can also mean "any" or "whoever", depending on the context.
Ukrainianщо завгодно
The Ukrainian phrase "що завгодно" (pronounced "shcho zavhodno") literally translates to "what is desired" or "what you want" and can be used to express a wide range of meanings, from "anything you want" to "whatever you please."

Whatever in South Asian Languages

Bengaliযাই হোক
The Bengali word "যাই হোক" (pronounced "jai hok") is derived from the Sanskrit phrase "yathā api" meaning "in any case" or "however". It is often used to indicate indifference or resignation in everyday speech.
Gujaratiગમે તે
"ગમે તે" is derived from "ગમે" (to like) and "તે" (it) and used in Gujarati to refer to anything or any situation.
Hindiजो कुछ
The word "जो कुछ" also means "all that" or "everything" in Hindi, and is often used similarly to "all" or "the whole" in English.
"ಏನಾದರೂ" can also be used as a rhetorical question or to express surprise or disappointment.
Marathiजे काही
In Marathi, "जे काही" ("whatever") can also mean "one thing".
Nepaliजे सुकै होस्
Punjabiਜੋ ਵੀ
The full phrase ‘ਜੋ ਵੀ’ is used to say ‘whoever’ or ‘whenever’
Sinhala (Sinhalese)කුමක් වුවත්
எதுவாக, pronounced ethuvaaga, has alternate meanings, such as "by what means" and "for whatever reason."
Teluguఏదో ఒకటి
ఏదో ఒకటి is used in Telugu to express uncertainty or to substitute an unknown or unspecified thing.
Urduجو بھی
The word "جو بھی" (jo bhi) has similar connotations to "whichever" or "whomever" but is most often translated into English as "whatever."

Whatever in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)随你
Chinese (Traditional)隨你
In Mandarin, the phrase “隨你” can also mean “as you wish” or “it’s up to you”.
なんでも (nanto demo) can also mean 'anything' or 'everything'.
Korean도대체 무엇이
도대체 무엇이 is a Korean phrase that also means "what on earth" or "what the heck".
Mongolianюу ч байсан
The word "юу ч байсан" in Mongolian is derived from the words "юу" (what) and "байсан" (was) in the past tense, expressing the idea of "whatever it may have been".
Myanmar (Burmese)ဘာပဲဖြစ်ဖြစ်

Whatever in South East Asian Languages

Indonesianmasa bodo
Javaneseapa wae
Although the word "apa wae" is commonly translated as "whatever," in the original Javanese it is more similar to "what is it?"
The word ស្អី​ក៏ដោយ can also be used to refer to a very large amount or a very small amount, depending on the context.
Malayapa-apa sahajalah
Apa-apa sahajalah is a Malay phrase which can also mean "come what may" or "take things as they come."
The Thai word "อะไรก็ได้" literally translates to "what would be good" but is used to express indifference, like an English speaker might say "anything would be fine."
Vietnamesebất cứ điều gì
"Bất cứ điều gì" is the translation of Latin "quidquid" in a Catholic prayer in which it means "everything that".
Filipino (Tagalog)kahit ano

Whatever in Central Asian Languages

Azerbaijaninə olursa olsun
"Nə olursa olsun" means "no matter what" or "come what may" in English.
Kazakhбәрі бір
"Бәрі бір" is a homonym that can either mean "whatever" or "everyone" in Kazakh.
Kyrgyzэмне болсо дагы
Tajikда ман чӣ
Although 'да ман чӣ' means 'whatever' in Tajik, it also refers to a state of indifference or carelessness.
Turkmennäme bolsa-da
Uzbeknima bo'lsa ham
The Uzbek phrase "nima bo'lsa ham" literally means "what will be, will be".
Uyghurقانداقلا بولمىسۇن

Whatever in Pacific Languages

Hawaiianhe aha
The Hawaiian phrase 'he aha' is derived from the word 'aha' which means 'to know' or 'to perceive'
Maoriahakoa he aha
The phrase 'ahakoa he aha' (literally 'although it is anything') is often used to express a sense of indifference or resignation.
Samoansoʻo se mea
In Samoan, the plural or generic singular is often conveyed by adding "feese" to the singular root word (the same in some other Polynesian languagues), thus the literal meaning of "soʻo se mea" ("whatever") is "any one thing".
Tagalog (Filipino)kahit ano
"Kahit ano" is derived from the Tagalog words "kahi't" (although, even though) and "anó" (what), and it can also be used to express the idea of "anything at all" or "no matter what".

Whatever in American Indigenous Languages


Whatever in International Languages

Esperantokio ajn
The word "kio ajn" can also be used to mean "anything", "something" or "someone"
Latinquae semper
The Latin phrase "quae semper" ("whatever") also means "who always" and "which always".

Whatever in Others Languages

Some claim "οτιδήποτε" is an ancient Greek form of "ὅ,τι δὴ ποτ' ἂν" ("whatever"), but many reject this view.
Hmong "xijpeem" can carry the dual meaning of "whatever" or "it doesn't matter."}
Kurdishçibe jî
Turkishher neyse
In Turkish, her neyse also means "well then" and "okay" which it borrowed from Persian.
Xhosanoba yintoni
The word "noba yintoni" can also be used to express indifference or dismissiveness.
Yiddishוואס א חילוק
The Yiddish idiom "וואס א חילוק" ("whatever") originates from the question "What's the difference?" suggesting indifference.
Zulunoma yini
The phrase "noma yini" can also carry meanings of defiance or indifference when uttered with appropriate tone of voice and body language.
Assameseযিয়েই নহওক
Bhojpuriजवन भी
Dogriजो बी
Filipino (Tagalog)kahit ano
Ilocanouray ania
Kurdish (Sorani)هەرچیەک بێت
Maithiliजे किछु
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯑꯃ ꯍꯦꯛꯇ ꯑꯣꯏꯔꯕꯁꯨ
Oromowaan fedhe
Odia (Oriya)ଯାହା ହେଉ
Tatarкайчан да булса
Tigrinyaዝኾነ ይኹን
Tsongaxihi na xihi

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