Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Czech Element Names

I've been here in Czechland going on ten years.  Ten years!?!?  Wow!  Ten years and I'm still trying to improve my Czech.  But at least I'm not studying chemistry over here.

Most of the names of chemical elements have their origin in Greek or Latin and the translated names in other languages are still pretty close to the original.  For example, H is the symbol for Hydrogen - the lightest element in the periodic table.  Most languages call it something similar to the English word "hydrogen".

Danish/Norwegian = hydrogen; French = hydrogène; Irish = hidrigin; Spanish = hidrógeno; Portuguese = hidrogênio; Turkish = hidrojen; Romanian = hidrogen; Italian = idrogeno; Basque = hidrogenoa; Albanian = hidrogjen; Greek = υδρογόνο; heck even in Hungarian it's hidrogén.  In German it's Wasserstoff but German is a whole other kind of crazy.

In Czechland "hydrogen" is vodík.

Apparently back in the 1820s to 1830s, Czech names were introduced for chemical elements and this has stuck.  I'm pretty sure that it's the same in Slovakia.

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