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Death in Different Languages

Death in Different Languages

Before humanity learned to do things in a better way and started hunting to gather their food, they still had to deal with the biggest truth of the universe, and that is death. It is the only thing that will always come after people, even if they don’t want it to. It came into this world following the living things and has been around since then. It is the only thing we can always be sure of in this uncertain world. Most of us don’t give it too much thought during our everyday lives even though it is always around us.


Studies are conducted regularly to figure out how many people pass away each day. One estimate puts the number at 150,000. It may not look like a huge figure when compared to the daily birth rate and the total population of the world. But that doesn’t mean death is unimportant or uncertain. It is the only thing people can count on even when everything else around them is unpredictable. Our world is pretty unique and lively. Each day it gets filled with colorful activities carried out by its population. There are a lot of problems in people’s lives, but death is the one they try to forget from time to time.

Emotions and Languages:

Languages have given us the power to express our emotions. Without them, it would have been difficult for us to talk about our grief and process it properly. For the healthy psychological growth of a person, it is necessary for them to talk about the problems they are facing in life. But knowing a single language can be limiting at times to say everything that is on our minds. This is why there are articles and apps to help us figure out how to say a word in multiple languages.

Death in Different Languages:

Death means the end of life, but depending on the tongue you are using to talk about it, its meaning can be deeper. Knowing how to say ‘hello’ or ‘I love you’ in different vernaculars is not enough. Sometimes, a person may need to talk about death with people who don’t share their vernacular. At that moment, knowing the words for death in different tongues can be helpful. Here are a few


Words for death in other languages

  1. Al-Moat:

In Arabic, this is how you talk about the limitations of our lives. It describes the passing away of a person. You will notice that most tongues have a word for dying that starts with the sound of M. This proves that most of our vernaculars are related to each other or borrowed words from a common ancestor. Arabic has speakers in millions and is spoken in multiple countries. Knowing a few words of Arabic can help you get through your trip to an Arab country.

  1. Thanatos:

Studying linguistics can tell you how many ancient languages influenced modern vernaculars. A lot of the world’s most spoken modern vernaculars either originated directly from Latin or were affected by it in some way. Greek is another tongue that had a substantial linguistic impact. Thanatos is another word for death that was not only used in Greek mythology but also made an appearance in the Freudian theory. In the latter, it is described as the instinct of people to engage in dangerous activities. Whenever we do something adventurous or violent, Thanatos is the driving force behind it.

  1. Muerte:

There are multiple words for death in Spanish, but muerte is the most common one. Spanish is officially recognized in over twenty different states. Interestingly, the highest number of its speakers are not in Spain, and that tells you all about colonization and its power.

  1. Morte:

Interestingly, death in other languages can have the same word. For instance, morte is what you can call it in both Italian and Portuguese. The latter is another tongue that reached different countries, thanks to colonization. Both Italian and Portuguese are highly important vernaculars in Europe. Although they are nowhere near close to Spanish and German’s fame, they are given plenty of importance by linguists.

  1. Mortem:

The Latin word for death proves how closely the modern vernaculars spoken in Europe are connected with it. The terms for death in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish are quite similar to mortem. A lot of Latin quotes also include this word. Latin words can be spotted in various fields of study. For instance, post mortem is used in medicine to refer to autopsy. The names of multiple species of plants and animals are also in Latin.

Many vernaculars are closely related and, therefore, have the same word for death. For instance, it is called ‘moat’ in both Hindi and Urdu, which is the same as the Arabic word ‘al-moat’. It becomes ‘marg’ in Persian. The initial sound remains the same in most vernaculars.

Understanding the complexities of life and being able to cope with them is not easy, but it is necessary. We would lose our sanity if we didn’t force ourselves to deal with our emotions. Thankfully, we have various tools at our disposal to help us communicate with each other. It would have been quite challenging for humans to come to terms with their feeling without the help of vernaculars. But today, they have terms from seven thousand different languages that they can use to express their feelings. It is the beauty of the linguistic development that has enabled us to convey our feelings effectively.

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