Dutch words for hydrogen and oxygen

In summary, the conversation discusses the literal translations of the chemical elements oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and germanium in English, Dutch, and German. It is noted that the translations may seem backwards, but they were established before the discovery of the elements' actual chemical properties. The conversation also briefly touches on the evolution of language and the humor in some of the translations.
  • #1
Jack21222
212
1
So, I was just fooling around on Google Translate, and I decided to translate from Dutch to English for no good reason. I typed in hydrogen, and got back waterstof.

Water-stuff! Or alternatively, water-dust, or water-material.

So, I thought to myself "Hey, oxygen is also in water. Let's translate oxygen."

Oxygen = zuurstof

Interesting... what does zuur mean? ACID! Oxygen is "acid-stuff" and hydrogen is "water-stuff." Those sound completely backwards to me, because oxygen has little to nothing to do with acid as far as I know, while hydrogen donation practically defines an acid.

Those crazy Dutch...
 
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  • #2
The words Oxygen and Hydrogen have the same meaning - i.e. acid creator and water creator in Latin, respectively. Only difference is that their names were translated into Dutch and German, whereas English retained the Latin name.

The discovery that the chemistry actually works differently was long after the names were established.
 
  • #3
sfs01 said:
The words Oxygen and Hydrogen have the same meaning - i.e. acid creator and water creator in Latin, respectively. Only difference is that their names were translated into Dutch and German, whereas English retained the Latin name.

The discovery that the chemistry actually works differently was long after the names were established.

Ah hah! Of course! I didn't even pay attention to the -gen suffix. Nor the hydro- prefix to be honest...

I swear, if the hard sciences didn't have me firmly by the soul, I'd study the evolution of language.
 
  • #4
Nitrogen is "suffocating-stuff" :biggrin:
 
  • #5
Finally Carbon is "Coal-stuff" :rolleyes:
 
  • #6
Germanium is "German-stuff"

And you know they make the best stuff
[PLAIN]http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/4852/shamwowdz6.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
Gold is expensive-stuff, aurum and legume.
 

Related to Dutch words for hydrogen and oxygen

1. What is the Dutch word for hydrogen?

The Dutch word for hydrogen is "waterstof".

2. How do you say oxygen in Dutch?

In Dutch, oxygen is called "zuurstof".

3. Are there any other words for hydrogen and oxygen in Dutch?

Yes, there are alternative words for hydrogen and oxygen in Dutch, such as "waterstofgas" for hydrogen and "zuurstofgas" for oxygen.

4. How do you pronounce the Dutch words for hydrogen and oxygen?

The Dutch pronunciations for hydrogen and oxygen are "vah-ter-stof" and "zoor-stof", respectively.

5. Are there any similarities between the Dutch and English words for hydrogen and oxygen?

Yes, the English words for hydrogen and oxygen (hydrogen and oxygen) are derived from the Dutch words "waterstof" and "zuurstof".

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