Fluturas and Birrabirros

Damien Hirst's "Kaleidoscope VII," made of butterfly-wings and paint on canvas (2004).

I was remembering today how a friend at school learned how to say ‘butterfly’ in some twenty different languages. It’s such a pretty project. So I started making a list of my favorite butterfly translations, and it seems to be one of the most beautiful words in so many different cultures.

Of course there are the usual suspects.

French: papillion

Spanish: mariposa

Italian: farfalle

But, doing a little searching, I also found these fantastic examples.

Albanian: flutura

Japan: choo, or chou chou, or chocho

Amharic, from Ethiopia: birrabirro

Hindi: thithili

With just a little effort, I think I could manage learning this list. And, if you want to check out a longer selection, I found a web-page dedicated to the subject here.

One of Hirst's butterfly paintings.