September 28th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Just for Fun

Breast Is Best in Any Language!

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I was recently reading an article that noted that the German word for breastfeeding is stillen (pronounced shtil′-in) which translates literally as "to quiet and comfort (the baby)".  I thought it was a lovely translation and was immediately curious (I'm a Gemini - it's a curse) to find out what the word for breastfeeding is in other languages as well as what they would translate to literally.  Therefore, I set forth to pick the brains of all my cosmopolitan friends.  Here is what I found out...


Japanese flag

bonu (bow-new) translates to "mother milk".  From what I understand from my friend Pearl, this is a more casual way of saying breastfeeding.  She went on to say the following, "Ok, so... bonu o noma seru is the formal way of saying breastfeeding. The "o noma seru" means "to make drink". Even though none of those words is a literal translation for "baby". One would just understand the phrase to mean breastfeeding."

"Another more casual way would be ochichi o noma seru. The word "ochichi" is an informal way of saying breast, but when used with "o noma seru" would mean to breastfeed. It's hard to give literal translations, because it's the way words are used in the context of conversation that creates the definition of words. I guess that's why Japanese is so hard to learn unless you live there and speak it all the time."

"The phrase in the article below akachan ni oppai o ageru is yet another way you could say it - "akachan" means baby, "oppai" is another slang for breast."

This is a great article about the Japanese culture and brieftly speaks to the fact that the Japanese aren't all "hung-up" on nudity (like we are in North America).  It also explains that there are not that many slang words for breasts because the Japanese feel that breasts are nothing to be ashamed of.  Hmmm...  a lesson there perhaps?

And finally, a short and humourous article about formal and informal Japanese speech.  Thanks again Pearl.  I learned a lot!

Spanish (Mexico)

Mesican flag


darle el pecho (dar′-lay el pay′-cho) translates to "give the breast".  Thanks Delia!



Welsh flag

bwydo o'r fron(boo-eed-ore-vrom) From my friend Claire:  "Bwydo literally translates to feed and fron again literally translates to breast and if we conjugate this to a verb then we would write in the form of bwydo o'r fron... which translates to breast feeding.  A lot of words in Welsh do not translate directly, but this one does.  So there is no rough translation (similar words that would be a close translation when required) this one is as clear a translation as ever."


Chinese flag


Bu Ru 哺乳 (boo′-roo) translates to “feeding human milk”.  Thanks Jackie!




Italian flag

allattare al seno (a-la-tar′-ray al say′-nyo) translates to "give milk on the breast" but in general people say simply allattare.  Thanks Giovanna!

So I guess my mission to find another language that was as lovely as the German translation must continue...

Therefore, if you speak another language that isn't noted here and know the word for breastfeeding and how it translates literally to English, please share in the comments below!  We'd love to hear more!  Or if you find an error in our post, please let us know that too!  Maybe I should have majored in Linguistics?

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