In this recent question, I was trying to research a list of translation for "no", and a quick google found this page. That website also has other similar pages, like translation of "Hello", "Good morning", etc.

However, I am not sure about the reliability of those translations, and the website seems to target a tourist audience, not linguists. Where can I find a reliable and academic source?

They can be helpful to find/identify cognates, etc.

  • 1
    As a rule of thumb, the more languages a particular work deals with, the more it is prone to errors. Simply because no one knows so many languages, or even knows whom to invite to contribute. If you want reliable translations, you should consult individual dictionaries, and preferably the printed ones, not online, and most of all not open to anyone like Wiktionary – unless you know the language and can judge for yourself if the translation makes sense. If you need extra certitude, you should find a specialist or two in the given language and ask them which dictionary they recommend.
    – kamil-s
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 19:11

3 Answers 3


Wiktionary lists many translations into different languages for different etymologies, along with comments and examples for those translations. An extract from a "no":

  • Haitian Creole: okenn
  • Hungarian: semmi, semelyik (it is always expressed with a negative verb, and usually semmi is not used)

    • There is no water. — Nincs víz.
    • No horse has two tails. — Semelyik lónak sincs két farka.
    • I see no problem. — Semmi bajt nem látok.
  • Icelandic: enginn (is) m., engin (is) f., ekkert (is) n.

  • Ido: nula (io)
  • Igbo: ḿbà

These translations should not be less reliable than your average dictionary.

  • I find that it's often very incomplete
    – Louis Rhys
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 7:34
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    It is very incomplete because like this site it is made 100% by its contributors. More importantly it might not reach "reliable academic" standards. But it can be a good start. Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 21:03

For a subset of words there's World Loanword Database and The Intercontinental Dictionary Series based on the book "A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages", Carl Darling Buck, 1949.

  • +1 those are really some neat websites, unfortunately the number of words are way too little.
    – Louis Rhys
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 15:41

I found this site, called Omniglot. If you scroll down there are also links to other similar resources and multilingual pages.

I don't know if there is a search tool, but in case you don't find the expression you need, you can explore the site for other resources or visit the links for external sites.

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