What is the Milky Way called in Different Languages?

A PDF version of the list is also available.

language name literal meaning notes
Afrikaans hemelstraat heavenly street
Albanian rruga e qumështit milky way
Arabic درب التبانة [darb at-tabbāna] straw path درب = path; تبن = straw
Armenian Յարդ զողի Ճանապարհ [hard zoghi chanaparh] յարդ = straw; ճանապարհ = way
Ծիր կաթին [tsir kat’in] ծիր = circle, orbit; կաթ = milk
Asturian; Bable Camín de Santiagu Santiago’s way
Azerbaijani Ağ yol (Ағ јол) white way
Süd yolu (Сүд јолу) milky way
Kəhkəşan (Кәһкәшан) Persian influence
Bashkir Ҡаҙ Юлы (Ҡош Юлы) bird’s way
Basque Santio-bide bide = road
Santiago-bide bide = road
Esnebide milky way
Belarusian Млечны Шлях milky way
Bengali ছায়াপথ [chāyāpath] shadow way
হরিতাসি [haritāsi]
Bulgarian Млечен път milky way
Buriat Тэнгэриин Зуйдэл heavenly seam
Catalan; Valencian Via Làctia milky way
Chechen Ча Такхийна Тача ча = straw; тача = path
Chinese 银河 (trad. 銀河) [yín hé] silver river
天河 [tiān hé] heavenly river
Chuvash Кайӑк хур ҫулӗ wild goose’s way
Croatian Mlečni put milky way
Mlečna staza milky way
Kumova slama kumova = godfather’s; slama = straw
Czech Mléčná dráha milky way
Danish Mælkevejen milky way
Dutch; Flemish Melkweg milky way
English Milky Way milky way
Erzya Каргонь ки crane’s way
Esperanto lakta vojo milky way
Estonian Linnutee bird’s way
Evenki Тулнудек ski track
Faroese Vetrarbreyt winter path
Finnish Linnunrata bird’s course
French Voie lactée milky way
German Milchstraße milky way
Greek Γαλαξίας γαλα = milk; γαλαξίας = milk tooth (!)
Hawaiian Hoku-noho-aupuni hoku = star; noho aupuni = reign
Hebrew שביל החלב [shvil he-khalav] milky way
Hindi आकाश गंगा [ā-kāsh gangā] heavenly Ganges
मंदाकिनी [mandākinī]
Hungarian tejút milky way
Icelandic Vetrarbrautin winter’s path
Indonesian Bimasakti (Bima Sakti)
Interlingua via lactee milky way
Irish Bealach na Bó Finne way of white cow
Italian Via Lattea milky way
Japanese 天の川 [amanogawa] river of heaven
天の河 [amanogawa] river of heaven
銀漢 [ginkan] = silver; = China
天河 [tenga] river of heaven
天漢 [tenkan] = heaven; = China
銀河 [ginga] silver river
Kalaallisut; Greenlandic qilaup sivdlia (ĸilaup sivdlia)
Kalmyk Тэңгрин Уйдл heavenly seam
Kara-Kalpak Қус Жолы bird’s way
Karachay-Balkar Къой Джол sheep’s way
Kazakh Құс жолы bird’s way
Komi Утка туй duck’s way
Korean 은하수 [unhasu]
Koryak Мыльтайв’аям
Kuanyama; Kwanyama omulalavili
Kirghiz Кой Жолу sheep’s way
Саманчы Жол straw way
Куш Жолу falcon’s way
Latin Via lactea milky way
Latvian Piena Ceļš milky way
Putnu Ceļš bird’s course
Lithuanian Paukščių Takas way of birds
Gervių Takas way of cranes
Žąsų Takas way of geese
Vėlių Kelias way of souls
Macedonian млечен пат milky way
кумова слама
Maltese it-triq ta’ Sant’Anna the street of Saint Anne
Maori Ika a Maui fish of Maui
Ika o te Rangi fish of the sky
Ika Roa long fish
Mari Кайыккомбо корно wild goose’s way
Moksha Каргонь Ки crane’s way
Нармонь Ки bird’s way
Mongolian тэнгэрийн заадал heavenly seam
тэнгэрийн оёдол heavenly seam
Nepali आकाशगंगा [ākāshagangā] heavenly Ganges
दूधधारा [dūdhadhārā] दूध = milk; धरा = stream
Norwegian Melkeveien milky way
Ossetian; Ossetic Ӕрфӕны фӕд
Panjabi; Punjabi ਅਕਾਸ਼ ਗੰਰਾ [akāsh ganrā]
Persian كهكشان [kahkashān] كه = straw
كاهكشان [kāh-kashān] كاه = straw
[rāhi kāh-kashān]
كاهنگان [kāhangān]
راه شیری [rāh shīrī] milky way
[rāhi ḥājiyān] pilgrim’s way
اسمان لار [āsmān lār] heavenly way
Polish Droga Mleczna milky way
Portuguese Via Láctea milky way
Romanian Calea Lactee milky way
Calea Laptelui milky way
Calea lui Traian
Russian Млечный Путь milky way
Sami, Northern loddẹ ráidalas loddi = bird; ráidalas = ladder
Sami, Southern guoksede
Scottish Gaelic Geal-Shruth nan Speur white stream of heaven
Serbian Млечни пут milky way
Млечна стаза milky way
Кумова слама кумова = godfather’s; слама = straw
Slovak Mliečna dráha milky way
Slovenian rimska cesta Roman road
Somali marin shimbireed bird’s route
Spanish Vía Láctea milky way
Camino de Santiago road of St. James James was one of Christ’s twelve disciples
Swedish Vintergatan winter street
Tagalog pulóng-bituín
landás na bituín
ariwanas
Tajik Роҳи каҳкашон
Гоҳангон
Tatar Киек каз юлы wild goose’s way
Thai ทางช้างเผือก [thang cháng-phùeak] white elephant’s way
Tswana mola wa godimo
Turkish samanyolu saman = straw; yol = way
samanuğrusu saman = straw
kehkeşan Persian influence
gökdere gök = celestial; dere = brook, valley
hacılar yolu pilgrim’s way
Turkmen Akmaýanyň Ýoly (Акмаяның Ёлы) ýol = way, road
Udmurt Млечной путь clearly a direct loan from Russian
Uighur; Uyghur سامان يولى (Саман йоли) straw way
Ukrainian Чумацький Шлях чумак = an ox driver; шлях = way
Молочний Шлях milky way
Uzbek Somon yo’li (Сомон йўли) straw way
Vietnamese Ngân Hà silver river
Welsh y llwybr llaethog milky way
y ffordd wen fford = way
caer Gwydion castle of Gwydion Gwydion is a Welsh god
caer Arianrhod castle of Arianrhod Arianrhod, lit. “silver wheel”, is a Welsh goddess
Xhosa umnyele wezulu
Yakut Халлаан сиигэ
Yiddish מילכװעג [milkhveg] milky way
Zulu umthala

Contributors

Dainis Dravins: Faroese, Latvian; Juan Lajo: Asturian; Manwel Mifsud: Maltese; Alberto Millán Martín: Catalan.