Do Other Non-English Speaking Countries Have Acronyms That Spell Out Words

I cannot remember any acronyms in Spanish that make a common word. I have a vague feeling that I have seen it but cannot recall any particular one.

That said, it is rather common to have acronyms spelled out as their pronunciations. For example:

PTJ = Policia Tecnica Judicial (something like the Venezuelan FBI, it now has a different name).

If you read the letters in Spanish (peh-teh-hoh-tah in English) it would read as the (non-existent) word “petejota” and that word has become part of the written language and is later treated as any other word with the appropriate changes for sex and number. So you would write a news item saying that “los petejotas llegaron a la escena” (the “petejotas” arrived on the scene).

I have even seem the word “pedeveseños” to mean people from PDVSA, the national oil company (now PDV).

Not what you were asking, but I thought it was an interesting aside.

Interesting! Quebec has political parties called the Parti québécois (PQ) and the Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ). Partisans of the first are usually called “péquistes” and partisans of the second are called “adéquistes”. Even in formal contexts.

That’s what I was going to post. :slight_smile:

What does Bei Da mean?

North Big.

Japanese does the same thing: tookyoo daigaku (Tokyo University) becomes toodai.

I was a mathematics postdoc in the Netherlands, and my funding for a time came through the DIAMANT cluster, where DIAMANT stands for “Discrete Interactive and Algorithmic Mathematics Algebra and Number Theory.” So it was a Dutch word made out of an acronym, but the letters stood for English words.

In Spanish, acronyms that can be pronounced get treated as words (and get their own gender, as in French, and it’s also usually the gender that the item has when spelled out); they’ve become common relatively recently, though, so some which happen to spell words are actually unintentional (el can = the dog; la CAN = the savings bank of Navarra).

People often make an effort to create pronounceable acronyms, but not so much to come up with an acronym that’s a word.

I haven’t heard it in years, but I remember people referring to the American CIA as “la Compañía” (the Company) because the Spanish abrevation for “company” is C[sup]ia[/sup]… sort of the opposite of an acronym.

SPOT = Satellite pour l’observation de la terre (Satellite for the Observation of the Earth). French name, English acroword.

Is “diamant” a dutch word (for diamond?)

Yes, it means diamond

British English also does this Manchester United becomes Man-U :smiley:

::Slightly O/T::

We must never forget Red Dwarfs Campaign for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society

Interestingly (to me), I had a Number theory lecturer called Diamantis - think he was Russian, though, not Dutch.

Nitpick – “Likud” is **not **an acronym. *Meretz *OTOH definitely is (or, given their performance in latest election, possibly was…)

Arhab Ha-brit,” to connoisseurs of the ridiculous :smiley:

Israeli PR types do this (coining “cute” names for their products and then reverse-engineering acronyms to fit them) all. The. Fing. Time***. I suspect it’s the feeling rampant among them that the general public will lap up anything that’s “Just like in the United States,” so they’ve copied this American trend, too :rolleyes: (not at the US – at the copy-cats who think this copy-catting sells)

Technically, all acronyms are pronounceable words. Something that is just a string of letters is not precisely an acronym. “FBI” is not an acronym in the strictest sense of the word. “Radar,” “Scuba,” “MiG” and “SPOT” are.

FBI, CIA etc. are technically abbreviations (or initialisms) not acronyms. Some dictionaries are a bit permissive about this - allowing an abbreviation as a secondary type of acronym, but some are not. (my Oxford allows for only the primary definition, but M-W online allows an abbreviation as a secondary definition) The distinction’s valuable enough that, really, “Acronym” should be limited to words, not abbreviations.

From m-w: “Middle English diamaunde, from Middle French diamand, from Late Latin diamant-, diamas, alteration of Latin adamant-, adamas hardest metal”

It’s diamant in all Germanic languages I think, except those with an early merger with French.

Cool. I had completely forgotten about the old political parties in Venezuela. Accion Democratica (AD) whose partisans were called “adecos” and COPEI (I have no idea what it stood for now) whose partisans were called “copeyanos”. Also the URD and its “uerredistas” and the MAS and its “masistas”. All this words were also used in formal contexts. You would also talk about “la filosofia adeca” (The philosophy of AD).

Hum… you guys do know what PQ stands for in France French, right ? :smiley:

Seriously? I would have bet my life it was. Good thing no one asked me to do so!

Interestingly, it’s also diamant in modern French.

I do, but obviously that’s not very much in use here. :wink: