The old continent has experienced many centuries of wars and self destruction. Europeans share consequently a common history of suffering and pain. But when pain is being transcribed into words, it is interesting to notice that citizens in Europe don’t share the same expressions. Ache is not a sound in itself, but every culture needed to put this feeling into words to define this internal experience. It comes to the following list of interjections used in Europe when somebody screams because of pain. If “Au” tends to be the most common, many other forms coexist to express one’s soreness in all parts of the continent…
Portuguese people have three different ways to express pain, the most common being “ai”.
In Spain, people tend to scream with a long interjection. “Ay” is the shorter version.
The French “aïe” is sometimes replaced by a longer “ouille” defining a more widespread pain.
Icelandic pain is expressed in two words, either “ái” or “ói”. Just like in… Lithuania !
In Irish, the interjection to express one’s suffering is “aigh”. The English “ouch” is of course also common.
Three different onomatopoeias are being used in the United-Kingdom, depending on the kind of pain you experience.
Norwegian use the effective and short “au” to communicate their suffering.
Not far from the Norwegian “au”, the Swedes’ “aj” is not less expressive.
In cold Finland, one can express its sorrow with three different words.
Those two letters have nothing to do with the Roman “Avé”.
Dutch people express their ache in three different ways, but the most common remains “au”.
The way you express pain in Belgium depends of course on the region in which you are
You will often hear the German “aua” and less the other versions “autsch” and “auweh”
Just as in Belgium, Switzerland and its three languages uses three different versions to express ache.
Italians’ pain is expressed in a much more high-pitched voice with many vocals.
We find again the three German interjections in Austria to express one’s soreness.
If a Czech gets hurt, he will normally answer with a masculine “au”.
Slovaks share the same interjection with Czech.
There are two small words in Lithuania to answer to pain.
Latvia is one of the few countries with a word starting with a consonant to express ache.
Just like in Lithuania, Estonian use two small words for soreness.
A short interjection is being used in Byelorussia when somebody is being hurt.
Pain takes three different forms in Ukraine, depending on the intensity and duration of the suffering.
Ache needs many vocals in Moldova to come into a word.
Romanian and Moldovan share the same interjections.
Let’s express pain in the shorter way in Hungary. “A” is sometimes used as the simplest form to describe it, but the way and intensity it is expressed is important.
Two similar interjections are being used in Slovenia for soreness.
Croatian use the same interjections as Bosnian and Serbian
Bosnia and Herzegovina
As said before, Bosnian share with Croatian and Serbian the same words for pain.
United in soreness, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia use either “Jao” or “joj” to express their shared ache.
Macedonian use a quite uncommon interjection for pain when we compare it to other Europeans’ expressions.
With “au”, “of” and “uf” the expression of pain is multiple in Albania.
In Bulgaria, you will hear normally various words to put ache into sound.
Greeks interjections are distinctive from other European countries.
Finally, Turks tend to express suffering in quite simple words.
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