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Off topic: Rhinocerous in various languages
Thread poster: Sandra Alboum

Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:07
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 6, 2004

Hi all!

A friend of mine is trying to market a product "worldwide" (or so he hopes!) and needs to know if the word "rhinocerous" has any sort of connation (positive, negative, neutral) in the following countries... can anyone help me out? (Sometimes being the "resident language specialist" is fascinating -- like in this case):

Belgium
Sweden
Germany
Denmark
France
Switzerland
Italy
Spain
Norway
Russia
Poland

Sorry for the long list -- can anyone living and working in those countries give me any insight (a sentence or two on what "rhinocerous" is in their language, and how they interpret it?).

Thanks soooo much.
Sandra


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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
No connotations in Danish May 6, 2004

I can't think of any connotations (positive, negative or neutral) in Danish in connection with "rhinocerous".
In Danish, rhinocerous is called "flodhest", literally "river horse".


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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:07
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Are you sure it's not næsehorn? May 6, 2004

Hi.

Are you sure you're not thinking about a hippopotomous? Those are usually called river horses or river cows...

Just checking.
Thanks!


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 14:07
Member (2002)
French to English
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Moderator of this forum
Rhinoceros Party, le parti rhinocéros May 6, 2004

This was (is?) a "joke" party which ran prominently in the Canadian federal elections in the 70s and 80s, a sort of grass-roots in-your-face type party making un of the institution of government as well as the promises politicians make at election time.
Not negative, and perhaps unheard-of among the younger crowd.
Nancy


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Nicole Maina  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:07
Member (2005)
German to Italian
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No connotations in Italian and German May 6, 2004

I personally believe there are no connotations in Italian and German. Of course it makes me think of something large and clumsy, but nothing specific.

Message for Jorgen: I don't speak Dutch, but I believe you mean a hippo! That's a river horse.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 21:07
Member (2004)
English to Russian
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In Russian... May 6, 2004

In Russian it's more negative.
Say, a person may be called a "rhinoceros" because of he/she is dead-hearted, not sensitive, emotionless. Another possible (also negative) idea is a lead-footed (both physically and mentally). So, basically negative in Russian.

[Edited at 2004-05-06 15:21]


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RafaLee
Australia
Local time: 05:07
Spanish to English
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in Indonesian May 6, 2004

The Indonesian word for "rhinocerous" is "badak". In slang language, its connotation can be positive or negative. It can be related to extreme strength.
For example, "Gila, tenaganya tenaga badak!" = "Oh my God, he has got strength of a bull!"

We also have an idiomatic expression "Kulit Badak" (Rhinocerous skin) or muka badak (Rhinocerous face), which mean "thick skinned".


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
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By the way... May 6, 2004

...this kind of searches should be paid...
Giusi


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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:07
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 6, 2004

Giuseppina Gatta wrote:

...this kind of searches should be paid...
Giusi


I'll let him know. I don't know about you, though, but I am learning some things I didn't know about our friend, the Rhino!


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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
You're right! It's "næsehorn" in Danish May 6, 2004

How embarrazing...
I wasn't really thinking, was I.
Anyway, I always mix those two up.


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Maria Belarra  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:07
French to Spanish
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Spanish (Spain) May 6, 2004

Rinoceronte.

As far as I know, no connotations.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:07
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Russian rhino May 6, 2004

The Russian for rhinoceros (Nancy is right about the spelling) is íîñîðîã (use View>Encoding>Cyrillic Windows (1251) to view), or in Latin letters, nosorog (nos means nose and rog means horn).

You can use it as a simile in English: "as thick-skinned as a rhinoceros". That's the only expression I can think of.

[Edited at 2004-05-06 18:44]


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Uwe Kirmse  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
Polish to German
+ ...
No connotations in German?! May 6, 2004

turin wrote:

I personally believe there are no connotations in Italian and German. ...


The German word "Nashorn" has no connotations, but if you use "Rhinozeros" or shorter "Rhino", it's offensive. Perhaps young people may not use it, but when I was young, it was very commonly used. The meaning is similar like in Russian.


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 11:07
English to French
+ ...
A Ionesco play May 6, 2004

that's all I can think of for France, no connotation either way.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:07
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Though not on the list... May 7, 2004

the Finnish word for rhinoceros is sarvikuono, like in German and Danish, only the other way round: Hornmaul.
But the word rhinoceros has no connotations for Finns, as they wouldn't use it at all.


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