Multilingual Lexicon

One of the aims of this project is to build a multilingual lexicon of environmental terms. We have been gathering words and phrases that are key to different nature-cultures in order to learn about

  • how different languages think and talk about the environment
  • what other connotations a word such as ‘land’ might have in translation
  • what vocabulary of environmental violence, resistance and (in)justice have developed across different histories and geopolitical contexts
  • what resonances, convergences and divergences emerge across different languages of the environment
  • and how a multilingual and multicultural lexicon of environmental terms can help us in our efforts to rethink our relationship to the more-than-human

The entries below can be filtered by language. Each entry includes the word or phrase, the language it’s in, an English translation, the definition, and details about the author.

We want to keep developing this multilingual lexicon and are interested in submissions of words of phrases from any language field(s), geographical and historical context(s). If you would like to contribute, we’d be delighted to hear from you – please contact us with any ideas or questions at Entries should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length, and can of course include images, hyperlinks, or anything else that you’d like to share.

hors-sol aboveground, outside the soil


Factory farming must end. This is the message and aim of the Brittany-based collective against factory farms and for a territorialised agriculture. The collective was formed in 2021, shortly after the legal victory against the plan to build an industrial chicken coop to breed 120 000 chickens in Langoëlan, and at a stage where the […]

Nunca máis Never again


‘Nunca máis’ (‘Never Again’) was a social movement and platform created in 2002, a few days after the sinking of the Prestige ship off the Galician coast. This organization has since brought together the citizen response to the ecological disaster and management carried out by the various responsible governments. According to the platform website, the […]

ökologische Rucksack / ökologische Fußabdruck ecological backpack, ecological rucksack, environmental backpack / ecological footprint


While the concept of an ecological backpack in German writing often tends to be equated into the English calculation of the ‘ecological footprint’, these are two different yet related concepts. The ecological footprint is calculated based on the theoretical territorial or geographical needs for a product or service and thus based on a footprint in […]

Paesologia Placeology or Paesology


Paesologia has been adopted as a word-image to define a discourse on the role of small villages (paesi) in relation with human codification of communal spaces and idea of being present. It denotes one of the most compelling features of contemporary Italian ecopoetics and ecoaffect narratology trends and is particularly associated with issues of depopulation […]

Plougoñ / Plogoff


Plougoñ / Plogoff: the name of this commune in the Penn-ar-bed / Finistère department in northwestern Brittany has become a symbol of the anti-nuclear struggle and an important reference in Brittany as the emblematic struggle of ‘des pierres contre des fusils’ [stones against rifles], as encapsulated in the title of Nicole Le Garrec’s 1980 documentary […]

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