23 Fascinating Words With No Direct English Translations

Sequoias And Coastal Redwoods Appear To Flourish Despite Climate ChangeThe claim that Eskimos have about a trillion words for snow may be a false one — actually, Eskimo languages have about as many synonyms for snow as English does — but it remains true that the language of a culture can be fascinating and illustrative. It makes sense that Italians, whose meals typically last longer than American’s, would have a word for the ring of condensation that appears around a glass that’s been sitting on a table.

The following foreign words aren’t impossible to translate, they just describe phenomena that would take a sentence or two to describe in English. Some, like the Japanese koi no yokan, a more pragmatic version of love at first sight, are certainly worth adopting.

Here are 23 words with no direct English translations:

Schadenfreude
Language: German
MeaningA feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people

Lagom
Language: Swedish
Meaning: Associated with moderation, the word means not too much, not too little, but just the right amount. It typically refers to the etiquette of taking your share.

Mencomot
Language: Indonesian
Meaning: Stealing things of small value, mostly for fun rather than out of necessity. […]

(from The Huffington Post, 20-02.2014)

 

 

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