Sunday, February 21, 2010

Amino acids in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish

The twenty standard amino acids have one-word names in the languages English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. The only exceptions are the names aspartic acid (Asp) and glutamic acid (Gln), whose molecules contain an additional -COOH group in the side chain. For comparison, the names of standard amino acids are presented in an overview table along with their short notations, the three-letter codes (3LCs) and one-letter codes (1LCs):
Names of α-amino acids in different languages.
With the exception of Asp and Gln, the one-word names are composed from a stem and an ending. The stem spelling is very similar, sometimes undistinguishable, while comparing names of a given amino acid across the considered languages. The endings show language-specific patterns. German names have the ending in (or an in Tryptophan), not having the terminal e of their English and French counterparts that end in ine; with the exception of tryptophan ending in an in German and English and in ane in French. The Italian, Portuguese and Spanish names have the ending na. Here, again, the names of tryptophan make for an exception: the ending is no in these three languages.

The English term amino acid in other languages:
French: acide aminé
German: Aminosäure
Italian: amminoacido
Portuguese: aminoácido
Spanish: aminoácido

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