A Rose by Any Other Language or finding a suitable translation to ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet‘ in various languages to celebrate the Birthday of William Shakespeare, believed to have born on this day, the 23rd of April, in 1564.
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” are words spoken by Juliet in the famous balcony scene of Act II, Scene II of Romeo and Juliet. The line refers to Romeo’s house, Montague, and it implies that his name (and thus his family’s feud with Juliet’s family, the Capulets) means nothing to her and they should be together.
A name is but a label we affix to an object or a person. Its intrinsic value is not / should not be affected by it. Individuals or things are worth what they carry inside. Thus, even if we call a rose by an entirely different name, it would smell the same as it does by its name “rose.”
By extension, to show someone how important they are to us, we give them nicknames, and we often give our pets human names, to show that in our eyes they are valuable, equal members of our family.
But is Juliet right to minimize the importance of names? And isn’t this line perhaps summarizing the entire tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the play? Words have power and undermining their power can be a dangerous act. (More on this idea in a future blog post.)
One of the most quoted line from Shakespeare it appears that in the format we know it today, A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, was edited into the text of the play during the 18th century by Irish editor by Edmond Malone.
But does it really matter?
A Rose by Any Other Language on Shakespeare’s Birthday
‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’
‘Un trandafir cu orice alt nume ar mirosi la fel de dulce.’ (Romanian)
‘Ce que nous appelons une rose, sous tout autre nom sentirait aussi bon.’ (French)
‘Das, was wir eine Rose nennen, würde bei jedem anderen Namen genauso süß duften.‘ (German)
”n Roos by enige ander naam ruik net so soet.’ (Afrikaans)
‘Zou een roos minder zoet geuren als ze een andere naam zou dragen?‘ (Dutch)
‘Una rosa por cualquier otro nombre olería tan dulce.‘ (Spanish)
‘Aquilo que chamamos de rosa por qualquer outro nome, teria um cheiro tão doce.’ (Portuguese)
‘Ciò che chiamiamo rosa anche con un altro nome conserva sempre il suo profumo.‘ (Italian)
‘To, co zowiem różą, pod inną nazwą równieby pachniało.’ (Polish)
‘то, что мы называем розой любым другим именем будет пахнуть, как сладкий.’ (Russian)
‘Ajo që ne e quajmë trendafil me cdo emër tjetër do te kishte gjithsesi erë të ëmbël.‘ (Albanian)
‘”mis tahes teise nimega roos oleks lõhn nagu magus’ (Estonian)
‘det som vi kaller en rose av noen andre navn ville lukte så søt.‘ (Norwegian)
‘Αυτό που ονομάζουμε τριαντάφυλλο, με οποιοδήποτε άλλο όνομα θα μύριζε εξίσου ωραία.’ (Greek)
‘Hiyo ambayo tunaiita rose kwa jina lingine yoyote inge harufu kama tamu.’ (Swahili)
‘Güle başka isim tarafından gül dediğiniz gibi tatlı kokardı.’ (Turkish)
If you know how to say ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ in a different language to add it in comment below and let’s celebrate Shakespeare and his Birthday together 🙂
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