Have you ever wondered how do you say “butterfly”
in different languages other than English?
Butterflies are such beautiful, graceful,
charming, and heart-warming creatures, it is no
wonder that so many people are so very
interested in them. Even the word itself in
English evokes a feeling a charm and warmth. You
see or hear the word “butterfly,” and you
naturally think of something mythical, even
magical, and undoubtedly special. Of course, by
themselves, “butter” and “fly” do not
evoke such warm sentiments. They only make you
think of a spread and, at best, something
airborne; at worst, the word “fly” on its
own makes you think of pesky, winged, buzzy
insects that like to dive bomb you out of
nowhere, especially when you are hot and sweaty.
Before answering the question, “How do you
say 'butterfly' in different languages?” you
first need to understand why they are known as
“butterflies” in the English language. Some
people believe that butterflies got their name
because their wings look like they have a
texture as soft as butter – and they fly, of
course, so thus: butterfly. It is also suggested
that because so many are a yellow color that it
reminded people of butter.
In French, the word “butterfly”
translates into the wonderfully melodic, rolling
“papillon.” Have you ever seen the breed of
dog known as the Papillon? If you see this dog
from the back, you will no doubt notice that its
long, full ears and the markings on them
resemble a butterfly with its wings spread.
In the Filipino language, “paruparo”
People in Portugal call butterflies “borboleta,”
while in Spain, Mexico, and other Spanish
speaking countries, the winged darlings are
known as “mariposa.”
If you spot a butterfly while you are in
Germany, you call it a “schmetterling,”
which is charmingly lyrical. It sounds like the
kind of creature that belongs in a book by Dr.
The Italian translation is quite beautiful as
well: when in Rome, do as the Romans, and call
the butterfly a “farfalla.”
Those who speak Romanian know the butterfly
as the “fluture,” which sounds exactly like
it looks – like you are saying “future,”
but with an L in it.
If you find yourself in Lithuania, make sure
to point out the beautiful “drugelis.”
If you are speaking Danish, then you are
seeing a “sommerfug” whenever you see a
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