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My friend Arie has a toy called a "Language Genie". If you give it a word in English, it will pick four different languages and find the translation of the English word in each language. Then it makes an anagram out of each of the answers and returns them to you.

Each anagram is returned in the alphabet of the resultant language so if, for example, one of the four languages was Greek, you would be returned an anagram in the Greek alphabet.

One day, Arie gives the Language Genie a word and the Genie responds with the following four answers

Arbor
Seasign
Ark
Heatscan

What was the original word?

What is the translation of the word into each of the languages?

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, what a devious puzzle, I like it! $\endgroup$ – jhabbott May 20 '16 at 11:22
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    $\begingroup$ This is really good, and essentially exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I came up with the challenge idea. Nice work! $\endgroup$ – question_asker May 20 '16 at 12:04
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The original word was:

snow

The individual translations are:

Arbor: Borra (Maltese)
Seasign: Sniegas (Lithuanian)
Ark: Kar (Turkish)
Heatscan: Sneachta (Irish Gaelic)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Ark probably did it? Shortest and easiest to find? :D $\endgroup$ – Decypher May 20 '16 at 11:29
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    $\begingroup$ And the one I misspelt in my answer. :( Fixed now. Yes, I used Ark, which is easy to anagram, as entry point. But I also got a bit lucky that my first shot was a hit. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 20 '16 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Well done! I'm impressed how quickly you got it. $\endgroup$ – hexomino May 20 '16 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ As to the inclusion of 'ark', I had debated in my head whether it would make it too easy and decided that there are enough words like 'rak', 'kar' and 'kra' in other languages that it could still be fairly ambiguous. In hindsight, maybe I should have gone in a different direction, but 'live and learn' as they say. $\endgroup$ – hexomino May 20 '16 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ That led to the Turkish word for snow. I went to the Wkipedia page and when I saw "Sneachta" as one of the links to articles in other languages, I knew that I was on the right track. "Borra" was the last word I found. I think a bit of luck was involved. There's a fine line between a puzzle that's solvable and one that's impossible, so providing an entry point with few letters was good. I wouldn't have gotten it if I hadn't seen the images of snow on Google. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 20 '16 at 13:26

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