Element Names in Different Languages

Element names in different languages are not always the same. For example, if you ask for a radio in the United States, you can listen to music. In Spanish, you'll get radium.

Element names in different languages are not always the same. For example, if you ask for a radio in the United States, you can listen to music. In Spanish, you’ll get radium.

Although the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has a standard periodic table and list of chemical elements, the names and symbols you see on your periodic table often depend on which language you speak and country you live in. Here’s a table of element names in different language, so you can compare them.

Element Names in Different Languages

The languages I have so far are English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. I’m happy to add more language if you supply the names! Periodic tables on this site are presently available in English, French, German, and Spanish. Again, I’m happy to work with you to make them in your language, in any style.

The element names are given in alphabetical order, based on the English names. Note, element names are always capitalized in German.

EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseSpanish
actiniumactiniumActiniumattinioactínioactinio
aluminum*aluminiumAluminiumalluminioalumínioaluminio
americiumamériciumAmericiumamericioamerícioamericio
antimonyantimoineAntimonantimonioantimónioantimonio
argonargonArgonargoargônioargón
arsenicarsenicArsenarsenicoarsénicarsénico
astatineastateAstatastatoastatoastato
bariumbaryumBariumbariobáriobario
berkeliumberkéliumBerkeliumberkelioberquélioberkelio
berylliumbérylliumBerylliumberillioberílioberilio
bismuthbismuthWismutbismutobismutobismuto
bohriumbohriumBohriumbohriobóhriobohrio
boronboreBorboroboroboro
brominebromeBrombromobromobromo
cadmiumcadmiumCadmiumcadmiocádmiocadmio
calciumcalciumCalciumcalciocálciocalcio
californiumcaliforniumCaliforniumcaliforniocalifórniocalifornio
carboncarboneKohlenstoffcarboniocarbonocarbono
ceriumcériumCerceriocériocerio
cesiumcésiumCaesiumcesiocésiocesio
chlorinechloreChlorcloroclorocloro
chromiumchromeChromcromocrómiocromo
cobaltcobaltKobaltcobaltocobaltocobalto
coppercuivreKupferramecobrecobre
curiumcuriumCuriumcuriocuriocurio
dubniumdubniumDubniumdubniodúbniodubnio
dysprosiumdysprosiumDysprosiumdisprosiodisprósiodisprosio
einsteiniumeinsteiniumEinsteiniumeinsteinioeinstenioeinstenio
erbiumerbiumErbiumerbioérbioerbio
europiumeuropiumEuropiumeuropioeurópioeuropio
fermiumfermiumFermiumfermiofermiofermio
fluorinefluorFluorfluorofluorflúor
franciumfranciumFranciumfranciofrânciofrancio
gadoliniumgadoliniumGadoliniumgadoliniogadolíneogadolinio
galliumgallium<Gallium/td>galliogáliogalio
germaniumgermaniumGermaniumgermaniogermâniogermanio
goldorGoldoroourooro
hafniumhafniumHafniumafnioháfniohafnio
hassiumhassiumHassiumhassio<hássio/td>hassio
heliumhéliumHeliumeliohéliohelio
holmiumholmiumHolmiumolmiohólmioholmio
hydrogenhydrogèneWasserstoffidrogenohidrogêniohidrógeno
indiumindiumIndiumindioíndioindio
iodineiodeIodiodioiodoyodo
iridiumiridiumIridiumiridioirídioiridio
ironferEisenferroferrohierro
kryptonkryptonKryptoncriptocriptôniokriptón
lanthanumlanthaneLanthanlantaniolantâniolantano
lawrenciumlawrenciumLawrenciumlawrentiolaurênciolawrencio
leadplombBleipiombochumboplomo
lithiumlithiumLithiumlitiolitiolitio
lutetiumlutetiumLutetiumluteziolutéciolutecio
magnesiummagnésiumMagnesiummagnesiomagnésiomagnesio
manganesemanganèseManganmanganesemanganêsmanganeso
meitneriummeitneriumMeitneriummeitneriomeitnériomeitnerio
mendeleviummendeléviumMendeleviummendeleviomendeléviomendelevio
mercurymercureQuecksilbermercuriomercúriomercurio
molybdenummolybdèneMolybdänmolibdenomolibdêniomolibdeno
neodymiumnéodymeNeodymneodimioneodímioneodimio
neonnéonNeonneoneônioneón
neptuniumneptuniumNeptuniumnettunioneptúnioneptunio
nickelnickelNickelnichelniquelniquel
niobiumniobiumNiobniobionióbioniobio
nitrogenazoteStickstoffazotonitrogênionitrógeno
nobeliumnobéliumNobeliumnobelionobélionobelio
osmiumosmiumOsmiumosmioosmioosmio
oxygenoxygèneSauerstoffossigenooxigéniooxígeno
palladiumpalladiumPalladiumpalladiopaládiopaladio
phosphorusphosphorePhosphorfosforofósforofósforo
platinumplatinePlatinplatinoplatinaplatino
plutoniumplutoniumPlutoniumplutonioplutónioplutonio
poloniumpoloniumPoloniumpoloniopolóniopolonio
potassiumpotassiumKaliumpotassiopotássiopotasio
praseodymiumpraséodymePraseodympraseodimiopraseodímiopraseodimio
promethiumprométhiumPromethiumprometopromécioprometio
protactiniumprotactiniumProtactiniumprotoattinioprotacnídioprotactinio
radiumradiumRadiumradiorádioradio
radonradonRadonradon (emanio)rádonradón
rheniumrhéniumRheniumrenioréniorenio
rhodiumrhodiumRhodiumrodioródiorodio
rubidiumrubidiumRubidiumrubidiorubídiorubidio
rutheniumruthéniumRutheniumrutenioruténiorutenio
rutherfordiumrutherfordiumRutherfordiumrutherfordioruterfórdiorutherfordio
samariumsamariumSamariumsamariosamáriosamario
scandiumscandiumScandiumscandioescândioescandio
seaborgiumseaborgiumSeaborgiumseaborgioseabórgioseaborgio
seleniumséléniumSelenselenioselénioselenio
siliconsiliciumSiliciumsiliciosilíciosilicio
silverargentSilberargentoprataplata
sodiumsodiumNatriumsodiosódiosodio
strontiumstrontiumStrontiumstronzioestrôncioestroncio
sulfursoufreSchwefelsolfoenxofreazufre
tantalumtantaleTantaltantaliotântalotántalo
technetiumtechnétiumTechnetiumtecnetotecnéciotecnecio
telluriumtellureTellurtelluriotelúrioteluro
terbiumterbiumTerbiumterbiotérbioterbio
thalliumthalliumThalliumtalliotáliotalio
thoriumthoriumThoriumtoriotóriotorio
thuliumthuliumThuliumtuliotúliotulio
tinetainZinnstagnoestanhoestaño
titaniumtitaneTitantitaniotitâniotitanio
tungstentungstèneWolframwolframiotungsténiowolframio
uraniumuraniumUranuraniourâniouranio
vanadiumvanadiumVanadiumvanadiovanádiovanadio
xenonxénonXenonxenoxénonxenón
ytterbiumytterbiumYtterbiumitterbioitérbioyterbio
yttriumyttriumYttriumittrioitrioytrio
zinczincZinkzincozincocinc
zirconiumzirconiumZirkoniumzirconiozircóniocirconio

*In American English, element number 13 is aluminum, while most other English-speaking countries use the aluminium spelling.

Why Are Elements Named Differently?

Elements got different names because multiple civilizations were aware of them and had names long before an international periodic table was developed. Some elements have been known for thousands of years, so the names evolved over time. Other times, names are different because of phonemic constraints (how you can pronounce a spelling in a language). Also, the discovery of some elements was contested. More recently discovered elements tend to only have one name because naming now follows IUPAC guidelines.

Check My Work

If you see an error, please let me know! I researched the names and spellings, but am aware there is some dispute over certain names. The English is American English — let me know if your English is different from mine. Feel free to post a comment if you have an alternate name/spelling to propose in your language.

Reference

John Emsley. Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Element Names in Different Languages
Last modified: May 26th, 2016 by Anne Helmenstine