"John Doe" in Other Languages
Here's another list of equivalents in other languages. I'd have to say my favorites here are Slovak and Hebrew lol.
Afrikaans: Piet Pompies, Jan Alleman
Arabic: (Fulan AlFulani, Fulana[h] AlFulaniyya[h]) فلان الفلاني / فلانة الفلانية
Bosnian: Mujo Mujić, Petar Petrović, Marko Marković
Bulgarian: Петър Петров (Petar Petrov)
Croatian: Ivan Horvat, Hrvoje Horvat, Pero Perić
Czech: Jan/Josef Novák, Eva/Marie Nováková
Danish: Anders Andersen
Finnish: Matti Meikäläinen, Maija Meikäläinen
German: Max Mustermann, Erika Mustermann
Hebrew: Israel Israeli, Israela Israeli
Hindi: Rajwinder Kaur, Pappu
Icelandic: Jón Jónsson, Jóna Jónsdóttir
Italian: Mario Rossi
Japanese: Yamada Tarō (山田 太郎 or やまだ たろう)
Kannada: Aparichita (ಅಪರಿಚಿತ)
Korean: Hong Gildong (홍길동)
Polish: Jan Kowalski, Janina Kowalska
Serbian: Petar Petrović
Slovak: Jožko Mrkvička (lit. "Joe Little Carrot")
Slovene: Janez Novak, Janez Kranjski
Spanish (Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador): - Juan Pérez, N.N
Swedish: Sven Svensson
Vietnamese: Nguyễn Văn A, Trần Thị B
Interestingly enough, Spanish borrows fulano from Arabic for what could be translated into American English as "so-and-so."
Del ár. hisp. fulán, este del ár. clás. fulān, y este quizá del egipcio pw rn 'este hombre'.
m. y f. U. para aludir a alguien cuyo nombre se ignora o no se quiere expresar.
m. y f. Persona indeterminada o imaginaria.
m. y f. Con referencia a una persona determinada, u. en sent. despect.
It's interesting to contemplate the effect the Umayyads, Almoravids, and other Muslim dynasties had on Spanish.
Correct. The word "meikäläinen" is used when you are referring to yourself. It's not commonly used anymore (if it ever was).
for example: "Meikäläinen on väsynyt = I am tired"
and the official way to say the same thing: "Minä olen väsynyt = I am tired"
Yeah, exactly --- but "I" isn't the only meaning the word has, and I'm not sure what's the exact simple translation for the other meaning/s.
Like "meikäläinen ruoka on hyvää" (= ??? basically means that the local food is good) or "hän on meikäläinen" (= s/he is one of us.)
= "something that is from us or belongs to us" is the simplest translation for the other meaning/s that I can think of right now...
Good suggestion, but did you know that "John Doe" was first used in the late 12th century (Norman French) in England to illustrate how a new law would work. I forget the exact details but in legislation about the rights of landlords, tenants and sub-tenants, examples were given to illustrate the new law, and John Doe was one, I think Richard Roe might have been another... and I'm afraid I forget the third.... I suppose we all assume it's American now.
The Hungarian version is Gipsz Jakab. Samples for credit cards etc. usually have some common names on them such as Szabó István, but some time ago Minta János ("John Sample") was also common. My favorite of this kind was a loyalty card that had the sample name Szuper Áron (Aron Super) - which can also be interpreted as a phrase meaning "at a super price".
In swedish: if it's an unknown person N.N (nomen nescio) is used (e.g. unidentified dead body). Sven Svensson might be used about the average swedish citizen, but not very common.
Most colloquial in Swedish are Medelsvensson, Svenne Banan, Nisse i Hökarängen etc.
Russian: Ivan Ivanovich (John Johnson) - there are other options for this, but I believe this is probably the "classic".
Wikipedia has a great list of "placeholder names" : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_placeholder_names_by_language
Interesting, but there is a question what is "equivalent". For example the german example is only used in forms or documents. You won't find it in death certifivates of unknown peoples.
I'd be curious to know how they each say "Tom, Dick and Harry" as well. I know Italian uses "Tizio, Caio e Sempronio" and Spanish (at least in some regions) "Fulano, Mengano y Zutano."
In French, that would be "Pierre, Paul et Jacques".
Our "average Joe" is Monsieur (ou Madame) Dupont :)
Hi Vabelie, and do you know if we have this term of "John/Jane Doe " , I can't think of anything ...?
Apart from "Monsieur/Madame X" (possibly used for unidentified bodies or people found without identity or memory, but I'm not even sure), I don't think of much either…
Happy New Year, Cleanthe :)
There are so many documentaries/shows on TV about the work of the police, they probably talk about it ... but I never watch them ! ;))
Une bonne année et plein de bonnes choses à toi aussi Vabelie ;)
I'm the same: I like crime shows mainly if they have some added value, like a historical context :)
They were names of 3 tortoises Charles Darwin snatched off the Galapagos Islands. Harry turned out to be female and was renamed Harriet. She retired to Australia to a tortoise retirement village and died in 2006 at age 175. My favorite TDH story.
I was about to answer "Susmaryosep" (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) because those were the iconic three in Filipino expressions, so maybe those three were the Tom, Dick and Harry. But I was wrong, well, I guess (I may be wrong), we don't have such a term in our native language. Unless you accept the "SusMaryOsep"
In German: Hinz und Kunz, (as in „Er verkehrt mit Hinz und Kunz“ - "He goes about with every Tom, Dick and Harry") where Hinz and Kunz are abbreviations of Heinrich und Konrad.
when used as „von Hinz zu Kunz“ it means “from pillar to post”.
John Doe in Japanese is Nanashi no Gonbee (名無しの権兵衛 or ななしのごんべえ). it's used for unknown name. 山田 太郎 is one of the most popular names and used for an entry example :)
せいとーさん、ありがとうございますありがとうございます, will you transcribe the 2nd one into hiragana too ください?
無名氏 (a nameless person) in written Chinese In Cantonese, we also use 阿豬 (Ah pig)、阿狗 (Ah dog) when it is not referred to a dead body. In public exams, Chris Wong is used as the gender-neutral nobody and all students hate Christ Wong. But my favorite is definitely 蛋散 (A deep-fried dough), as 蛋散 will crumble in your mouth easily, it becomes an euphemism for 'nobody'.
In Spanish, besides Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal and Perico de los Palotes. Other expression for unknown persons are "Fulano, Zutano y Mengano/Perengano" and "Pedro, Juan y Diego".
Who is John Doe? Is he the "Uncle Sam" type of placeholder name? Well, he is "Juan de la Cruz" in Filipino. Yes, you've read it right Filipino, although it looks like Spanish.
I'm so late to this thread but... I'm Bulgarian and I never knew that John Doe is equivalent to Петър Петров. In movies here they always say it John Doe and I never even thought about a Bulgarian equivalent lol. I guess Petar Petrov is the most common male name here so that's why (even tho I always though Ivan Ivanov is more common?). Now I wonder what's the female name equivalent. Jane Doe in Bulgarian should be... Petya Petrova? This is very interesting.