Mother’s Day has different dates worldwide. Most countries, like my own, Brazil, celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of every May. Many others celebrate it on other dates year-round.
The different dates to celebrate the role of mothers in society remind us how different the world can be. But there is one thing most of the world have in common when it comes to mothers: the language.
According to sources, mama and papa are the most common words first pronounced by babies learning to speak. It is part of the way we, humans, acquire our mother tongue. That is why there are similarities among very different languages when it comes to say words for ‘mother’. Of course, there are some differences as well. In old Japanese, the word for mother was ‘papa’, and ‘mama’ is known to mean food. But in general, since we are little kiddos, we have been calling our mothers something along these lines:
- Dutch: mama / mam
- English: mama / momma / mam/mum/mom
- German: Mama
- Greek: μαμά (mama)
- Italian: mamma
- Portuguese: mãe / mamã / mamãe (only in Brazil)
- Russian: мама (mama)
- Spanish: mama / mamá
We usually develop a big gratitude for the people who made us this big favor that is raising us, our mothers. It is probably because of your mother that you are pretty good at your mother-tongue.
So, Happy Mother’s Day for your mom! Let us know how you say “mom” in your language below!