This Sunday is Muttertag and one of the most important people in the world has a pretty universal name–-Mom, Mutti, Momma, Ma. But the nicknames and stories we share about our mothers are unique.
What are mothers called in different languages? We have mama or something similar to mama for almost all the Indo-European languages from Albanian to Welsh, And then there’s Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, some variants of Arabic, Hebrew, Malayalam, Tamil, Finnish, Thai, Tibetan and Uyghur. The reason why it’s “mama” in so many languages is because mama is one of the first few sounds a baby makes! It is also one of the easiest for babies to make without using their teeth or tongue to make the sounds. (It’s pretty similar to the movement when babies smack their lips, right?)
What about the others? Some Arabic-speakers say Ahm. Bosnians go Majka (pronounced Mai-ka). The Japanese call their mothers Haha. Georgian-speakers call their mothers deda and fathers mama. Confusing!
Wishing all the Muttis, Moms and Mothers a wonderful Mother’s day!