La Tartaruga and the Wonder of Languages

One day as I was window shopping in Florence, Italy, I saw these cute turtles. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I read the writing on the jewelry box: “La Tartaruga”. Turns out it is the Italian word for “The Turtle”. And you know what so special about it? In my hometown, Manado, the word for turtle is “tuturuga!” My guess is we got that word from Portuguese (in Portuguese, turtle is also called “tartaruga”, and we do borrowed lots of other words from Portuguese). And Portuguese and Italian are both The Romance languages, thus they are all quite close to each other.

La Tartaruga in Italy, Tuturuga in Manado

When you’re far away from home, it’s really nice to find something that reminds you to home even if it’s just a simple word like this. It somehow makes me feel that we humans are all connected… don’t you think?


Related Post:

Borrowed Words


5 thoughts on “La Tartaruga and the Wonder of Languages

  1. Wooww!!

    Ly, do you have any posting about the same words in Dutch language and Manado language? I know opa, oma, onderdill, kulkas, benawdt (aka ‘fugado’ hahaha..), neces, maar, asbak, benzine, bezoek (at the hospital), doos, gratis, hak (for shoes), handdoek, handschoen, hoek (at the corner), ijs (ice), interlokaal, jodium, kakkerlak, kantoor, klaar, …..and so on…. the list is quite long 🙂

  2. OH god, I’m happy to hear that someone else thinks about language a lot. I am dutch, but have always lived in Italy, and I have a degree in English, German and French, so everywhere I go I think about language, where words come from, which words are related and so on.. I find many similarities in languages that seem to be actually pretty distant. That can be funny for who loves languages =)

    • Hi, thanks for your comment.
      Yes, it’s really interesting right? I don’t have a background in language but I just love to observe and learn about words and languages. It’s especially interesting if you’re traveling to different places and came across ‘findings’ like this.

      By the way, you’re a polyglot! You must be a true Dutch. Awesome!!

  3. I believe Capt. Jack Sparrow was “sent” to the island of Tortuga several times ( willingly or not). It’s funny how certain words can sound alike and mean the same thing but spelled differently. Interesting!

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