1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "Πού είναι ο ιπποπόταμος;"

"Πού είναι ο ιπποπόταμος;"

Translation:Where is the hippo?

October 22, 2016

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/papageorge20

Ιπποπόταμος literally means river horse.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaleighStarbuck

Yep, English just borrowed the Greek word as is, so the true meaning is obscure for most people. German kind of borrowed it too, but Germanified it- Flusspferd- literally "river horse" in German. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

Isn't it useful when languages do this. Likewise, in Mandarin it is 河馬 (he2ma3, 'river horse').
They will even back-calque names for things with Greek roots that were never Greek words in the first place: e.g. a eurypterid (from Classical Greek εὐρύς, wide + πτερόν, wing) becomes 廣翅鱟 (guang3chi4hou4, 'wide wing horseshoe-crab').


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaleighStarbuck

Indeed, I love these kind of comparisons (not because any one language is better or more creative or anything like that but simply because it is so interesting). Another one- unexpectedly from Japanese to Spanish- "origami"= "papiroflexia."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.M.H.

In German also is Nilpferd "horse of the Nile".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995
Mod
  • 165

Riverhorse, to be precise. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobPast177

Well, it was intended as a pun - a hint at the somewhat unusual word order of this compound noun.

Learn Greek in just 5 minutes a day. For free.