The word “mine” as in mining industry apparently comes from Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin, possibly from the earlier Celtic word mina. Not much has changed. It is pure liguistic quirkiness that it sounds like mine as in “that hat is mine.”
In Latin a miner was a minutor. In French mineur. In Spanish minero, -a. No surprises there.
In German things get confusing. If you can help me sort out the details, please do. The New English-German Dictionary gives these translations for “miner”
From what I recall of my German, berg is a mountain and arbeiter is a worker, hence we have a miner as a mountainworker.
In Dutch, as in Afrikaans, the miner is a mijnwerker or mynwerker respectively.
My Fanakalo dictionary gives me these translations:
- mine n. => mayin
- mine pron. => ka mina
- mine overseer => mayin kap (which is what my father was)
- miner (ganger) => bas
- workers (workmen) => basebenzi
This is all just for fun. If you have the translation for mine and miner in other languages, please send them along and I will try to share them.