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Why We Love Untranslatable Words

Words Without Translation

Certain languages and cultures have words that are hard, or even impossible to translate, as a whole lot of stories and mythology have gone into the particular meaning of the word.

Translating these words does away with the true meaning and intent of the original word.

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Why We Love Untranslatable Words

Why We Love Untranslatable Words

https://lithub.com/why-we-love-untranslatable-words/

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Key Ideas

Words Without Translation

Certain languages and cultures have words that are hard, or even impossible to translate, as a whole lot of stories and mythology have gone into the particular meaning of the word.

Translating these words does away with the true meaning and intent of the original word.

Untranslatable Words

Some words remain a mystery, as human language cannot be simply demarcated and translated as is, by giving definitions to words.

Certain words add to the mystery and the beauty of languages and provide richer shades to communication.

Words Contain Cultures

Certain words contain the essence of the lifestyles, and the hardships endured in certain cultures. These words are relatable to those who themselves have experienced the same.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Swear words

By definition, swear words are offensive. If a word, over time, ceases to be offensive, then it falls out of use as a swear word.

We will often use swear words to vent some emotion. Swearing al...

Swearing benefits

  • Swearing helps mitigate pain.
  • Those who speak more than one language, report that swearing in their first language carries a bigger emotional punch.
  • A few blue words, uttered in a good-natured way, indicates and encourages intimacy.
  • A recent study suggests that people who swear are perceived as more trustworthy.

Small talk

It’s a brief conversation between you and someone you don’t know very well. 

Small talk is an essential stage of a casual conversation, especially in English-speaking cultures.

How to get better at small talk

  • Have a genuine interest in getting to know a person you’re talking to and learn from them.
  • Ask open-ended questions. It encourages the other person you're speaking with to open up.“What do you do?” followed by “Why did you choose that type of work? How did you enter that profession?”
  • Never talk about something too personal.
  • Practice active listening. By paying attention to the speaker’s words, you’ll create much stronger connections.

The Positive Lexicography Project

The Positive Lexicography Project

It aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of ourselves, by capturing many ways of expressing good feelings from across the world.
It is directed by Tim Lomas at the University of East London...

Highly specific positive feelings

... that depend on particular circumstances:

  • Desbundar (Portuguese): to shed one’s inhibitions in having fun
  • Tarab (Arabic): a musically induced state of ecstasy or enchantment
  • Shinrin-yoku (Japanese): the relaxation gained from bathing in the forest, figuratively or literally
  • Gigil (Tagalog): the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished
  • Yuan bei (Chinese): a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment
  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit): the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, whereby one keeps going outside to check if they have arrived.

Complex and bittersweet experiences

  • Natsukashii (Japanese): a nostalgic longing for the past, with happiness for the fond memory, yet sadness that it is no longer
  • Wabi-sabi (Japanese): a “dark, desolate sublimity” centered on transience and imperfection in beauty
  • Saudade (Portuguese): a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away either spatially or in time – a vague, dreaming wistfulness for phenomena that may not even exist
  • Sehnsucht (German): “life-longings”, an intense desire for alternative states and realisations of life, even if they are unattainable.

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