What if you’re in another country and you want to tell someone to hurry the hell up already? First of all, you should ideally be prepared for any potential blowback to your snappiness. And second of all, you might want to check to see if ASAP stands for something in the local language. In many cases, other languages will adopt Anglicisms as loan words, which means you can probably get away with using this time-honored acronym in many other countries around the world.
In case you honestly didn’t know, ASAP stands for “as soon as possible.” It originated as U.S. Army slang in 1955, but today, we use it to imbue the most mundane requests with a military-style urgency. There are other languages around the world that recognize this acronym in the same form or have a different way to express the same concept.
Here are a couple of languages that recognize “ASAP” as a kindred term, just like in English, for requesting speedy turnover:
- Italian (pronounced asap-pa)
- Spanish (can be written A.S.A.P., a.s.a.p. or even ah.sah.p)
- French (pronounced ah-zap)
And when “ASAP” won’t cut it, here is how you would say “as soon as possible” (or whatever the closest equivalent of ASAP stands for) in a few different languages — including those ones listed above.
Danish: så hurtigt som muligt (hurtigst muligt for short)
Dutch: z.s.m. (short for zo snel mogelijk)
French: dès que possible
German: schnellstmöglich or so bald wie möglich
Indonesian: secepat mungkin (or just mungkin for short)
Italian: al più presto
Japanese: できる限り早く(dekiru kagiri hayaku)
Mandarin: 尽快 (jǐnkuài)
Norwegian: SFSM (short for så fort som mulig)
Portuguese: assim que possível or o quanto antes
Russian: срочно (srochno) or как можно скорее (kak mozhno skoreye)
Spanish: lo antes posible or cuanto antes
Turkish: en kısa zamanda