Created By: Pickly on May 1, 2011 Last Edited By: Pickly on May 15, 2011

Named for the Foreign Word

Name for a particular object, place, or area, that is the name of that type of object in a foreign language

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
(Needs a Better Title, Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples)

This trope occurs whenever the proper name for a particular type of place, object, or other item, is a foreign language, or otherwise uncommon, name for that particular type of object.

Often a subtrope of Bilingual Bonus.

Examples:

Film
  • The Lion King: Simba, the main Lion character, is a word that means "Lion"
  • Lampshaded in Dragonheart. The dragon claims his name is unpronounceable to humans, so Bowen calls him "Dragon" for awhile, then decides to name him "Draco", after the constellation. The dragon points out that he's still calling him "Dragon", just in a different language.
  • Toht, the Gestapo torturer in Raiders of the Lost Ark, is German for death.
  • Necros, The Dragon in The Living Daylights, is from Greek for death.

Folklore
  • It is often said that in King Midas, Midas means "King"

Literature

Video Games
  • In Guild Wars, the Echovald forest. "Wald" (pronounced "Vald") in German, means "forest", fitting the Germanish sounding names of the people living there.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • May 2, 2011
    OneInTwenty
    I couldn't find the trope when I was searching an example of this... or it might be out of date...

    Townsville a.la Powerpuff Girls ... or does it need to be foreign?

    Also quite a number of examples in truth in tropervision, mostly from something being named in the language native to the area, then taken over by people of another tongue.
  • May 2, 2011
    Topazan
    • Lampshaded in Dragonheart. The dragon claims his name is unpronounceable to humans, so Bowen calls him "Dragon" for awhile, then decides to name him "Draco", after the constellation. The dragon points out that he's still calling him "Dragon", just in a different language.

    By the way, isn't "Genius Bonus for foreign languages" called Bilingual Bonus?
  • May 2, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ On that note, I propose Call Me Dragon In Another Language (just using custom titles to put Dragon in quotes) as the title.
  • May 2, 2011
    LostLenore
    A Real Life example: the word "kangaroo" derives from the word "gangurru", which is the word for kangaroo in the local indigenous language.
  • May 2, 2011
    Ryusui
  • May 2, 2011
    Pickly
    Thanks for the titles and the bilingual bonus. (I knew there was some trope directly related to foreign languages, but forgot what it actually was.)
  • May 2, 2011
    Premonition45
    Toht, the Gestapo torturer in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, is German for death.

    Necros, The Dragon in The Living Daylights, is from Greek for death.
  • May 2, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    This sometimes falls under the Department Of Redundancy Department for readers who understand both languages.
  • May 4, 2011
    peccantis
    Named After Itself if you're dropping the expectation of foreignity?
  • May 4, 2011
    StrangeDwarf
    Real life example: Rudyard Kipling was named for the Rudyard lake in Staffordshire, where his parents first met.
  • May 4, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ I don't think that's an example. If Rudyard meant "lake" or "boy" or something like that, then. Otherwise it's Named After The Place (whinch in itself is Not A Trope but a custom... and an annoying one, especially if you were conceived in a Lada and your parents decided to celebrate that...).
  • May 4, 2011
    HumanaUox
    The Chronicles Of Narnia: Aslan the Lion's name is Turkish for lion.

    Not totally sure but I think that in Real Life, Laika the Dog, the first living being in space, was named for the Russian word for "dog"
  • May 4, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ are you sure Laika isn't a Stock Animal Name for dogs rather than the actual word wor dog?
  • May 4, 2011
    jaytee
    This seems like People Sit On Chairs to me. Do the examples have anything at all to do with each other? Using loan words from other languages is just how names are formed....
  • Humana Uox - the Russian word for dog is "sobaka". Laika is a dog breed, related to husky (I used to think they are one and the same, but not everyone agrees. I'm still not sure if laikas are type of huskies or huskies are type of laikas, though).
  • May 15, 2011
    TBeholder
    ...that is, the name of a breed is also used as a name for dogs (not very rare one at that).
  • May 15, 2011
    ArchiveDigger
    It is very similar to an existing trope called This Is My Name On Foreign.
  • May 15, 2011
    Topazan
    Similar maybe, but not the same. This Is My Name On Foreign looks like it's about translating your name into a foreign equivalent. This is about when your personal name is the name of your kind in another language.

    I've been thinking, maybe the foreign language aspect isn't strictly necessary. There are instances of characters being named after their species or kind in the same language too, like in Winnie The Pooh.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4u2yj09n9s54z6aly9v5ao1j