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"Con chuồn chuồn"

Translation:The dragonfly

July 3, 2016



Why do name of some bugs seems to have repeating words?

firefly - con đom đóm dragonfly - con chuồn chuồn grasshopper - con cào cào / con châu chấu


The same thing happens across many tonal languages. It is likely to do with the sounds associate with the creature or for alliteration to make the name sound prettier. Another example is a butterfly which can be either bướm or bươm bướm.


That's interesting since I don't know either. I grew up asking the same question. One theory is that (I guess) these words are of phonogram (based on the sound that these creatures make when they fly/move around).


Words that imitate sounds of things are called "onomatopoeic".


I asked my Vietnamese friends neither and they said a similar thing. For 'firefly' specifically, they said the word 'sounds like how it looks' - if that makes sense.


"to sound like how it looks" is a vague statement. But I get what they mean.



(classifier con) chuồn chuồn

1) a dragonfly

Chuồn chuồn bay thấp thì mưa, bay cao thì nắng, bay vừa thì râm.‎

It will be sunny if dragonflies fly low, rainy if high, neither if so so.

Derived terms

chuồn chuồn kim (“damselfly”)

From Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chu%E1%BB%93n_chu%E1%BB%93n


The second chuồn doesn't sound like the first.

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