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Why We Love Untranslatable Words

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.

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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.

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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.
Creating words
Creating words

In times past, when circumstances demanded new ways of expression, it was often female writers who invented new words.

The word 'frustrating' makes its first appearance in print...

Get your ‘-ness’ on

The suffix '-ness' can transform a plain word into something stranger and affectingly abstract. For example, 'dark' is factual, whereas 'darkness' is more graphic and poetic.

Other words that already follow this form: the unvisitedness of our parents and grandparents. The unembracedness of our friends. The egglessness of our pantries.

You are what you '-r'

To show the depths of your connection with a place or feeling, simply adding an 'r' or an 'er' to the end of a noun can show a new existential title.
Jane Austen christened a group of random gamblers around a casino table, all coming from the 'outside,' as 'outsiders.' In her novel Emma, she turned the word 'sympathy' into 'sympathizer,' the first recorded use of that word.

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Past and future
Past and future
  • When English speakers use hand gestures to talk about the past and the future, they thrust a hand over the shoulder for the past and put a hand forward to indicate the future. English speake...
How humans sense time

Humans are different from animals in that we don't sense time only as passing. We dice time into units or think of time to go beyond our lifespan, such as millennia. We rely on time concepts that allow us to make plans, follow recipes, and discuss possible futures.

Describing yesterday and tomorrow

Recent research suggests that across all cultures, the concept of time depends on metaphor, known as a conceptual metaphor. We build our understanding of duration and sequences of events out of familiar spatial ideas such as size, movement, and location.

But the "time is like space" metaphor takes on very different forms from one culture to the next.

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