N is for NO

It occurred to me that, in many languages, especialy the Indo-European ones, the word for NO starts with the letter N. From here:

BENGALI, KURDISH, PERSIAN (FARSI), ROMANI, SINDHI – na
SINHALESE – nae
WELSH – nage
URDU – nahin
GUARANI – nahániri
HINDI – nahin
BRETON – nann
GALLO – nanni
PORTUGUESE – não
BOSNIAN, CROATIAN, CZECH, ESPERANTO, LITHUANIAN, MACEDONIAN, SERBIAN, SLOVENE, SOBOTA – ne
BULGARIAN –
LATVIAN –
AFRIKAANS, DUTCH, FRISIAN, LOW SAXON – nee
LUXEMBOURGISH – neen
FAROESE, ICELANDIC, NORWEGIAN, OLD NORSE – nei
GERMAN, YIDDISH – nein
DANISH, SWEDISH – nej
HUNGARIAN – nem
WALLOON – neni
NORMANnennin / nenn
UKRAINIAN – ni
BELARUSSIAN, POLISH, SLOVAK – nie
RUSSIAN – niet
CATALAN, ENGLISH, FRIULAN, ITALIAN, KURDISH, LIGURIAN, PAPIAMENTO, SARDINIAN, SPANISH – no
CORSICAN –
FRENCH, GALICIAN, HAITIAN CREOLE, OCCITAN –non
ROMANIAN – nu

Y’know, it’s not always bad saying NO. Often the question you are asked is, “Can you do X?” And you think, “Yes, I CAN do X. But OUGHT I to do X?”

So the REAL question should be, “WILL you do X?” And, for reasons of sanity, sometimes the answer should be a resounding NO.

Incidentally, there appears to be some disagreement over what function NO performs in the following sentence: “No, you are mistaken.”

Some sources claim it is an interjection, while others suggest it is an adverb. A Wikipedia article seemingly disagrees with both options.

 

9 thoughts on “N is for NO

  1. Interesting! One of the few Indoeuropean exceptions is Greek, where “NO” is “όχι” (ohi).
    As far as “YES” goes, it is even more interesting, as it is “ναί” (né). Causes some confusion (initially) for most tourists visiting Greece!

    Liked by 1 person

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