Your favourite 'non-translatable' words and phrases?

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Puddles the Monkey
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I've seen these series of illustrations floating around before. Sometimes other languages have amazing words for things which English doesn't - the German word schadenfreude is one of my favourite examples.

Another one is the Japanese word chotto* - it is a beautiful, amazing, face saving get out of jail free card. Feel awkward about doing someone a favour? Need to turn a date down? Got an unfavourable opinion but don't want to share it? Just chotto your way out of there and run for the hills.

What are your favourite 'untranslatable words' from other languages?

:cookie:

*Lit. 'a little' but it has many other uses.
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Anna Schoon
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
I've seen these series of illustrations floating around before. Sometimes other languages have amazing words for things which English doesn't - the German word schadenfreude is one of my favourite examples.

Another one is the Japanese word chotto* - it is a beautiful, amazing, face saving get out of jail free card. Feel awkward about doing someone a favour? Need to turn a date down? Got an unfavourable opinion but don't want to share it? Just chotto your way out of there and run for the hills.

What are your favourite 'untranslatable words' from other languages?

:cookie:

*Lit. 'a little' but it has many other uses.
I am always fascinated by the way these untranslatable expressions often give an insight into a culture - your two examples are certainly a case in point.

The French have le savoir-vivre which covers a whole attitude to people, including good manners, consideration and respect for others, politeness etc. I suppose the closest to this would be the made-up word "gentlemanliness".

In Spanish, I like la sobremesa - the time spent at table chatting after a meal.

My favourite one, however, has to be the Dutch gezellig. Any place, event or person that makes you feel relaxed, at home, warm, protected as well as having fun - is gezellig. Sitting in front of a fire, lying in bed with a hot chocolate when it's snowing outside, a shopping trip, your best friend, your local pub - all these can be gezellig.

I also like the way that, in Europe at least, there is no other term for fair play.

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Plantagenet Crown
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The Spanish noun "friolero/a" meaning someone who is inherently sensitive to feeling cold all the time.
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Arkasia
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Hentai.

It means....hentai.
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Anna Schoon)
I am always fascinated by the way these untranslatable expressions often give an insight into a culture - your two examples are certainly a case in point.

The French have le savoir-vivre which covers a whole attitude to people, including good manners, consideration and respect for others, politeness etc. I suppose the closest to this would be the made-up word "gentlemanliness".

In Spanish, I like la sobremesa - the time spent at table chatting after a meal.

My favourite one, however, has to be the Dutch gezellig. Any place, event or person that makes you feel relaxed, at home, warm, protected as well as having fun - is gezellig. Sitting in front of a fire, lying in bed with a hot chocolate when it's snowing outside, a shopping trip, your best friend, your local pub - all these can be gezellig.

I also like the way that, in Europe at least, there is no other term for fair play.

Ah these are lovely.

I like also the French savoir/connaître. I really wish we had in English, as it's an important distinction to make.
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Arkasia)
Hentai.

It means....hentai.
Nyaaah you can translate that. It means 'pervy'.
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Arkasia
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Nyaaah you can translate that. It means 'pervy'.
A more accurate translation is 'Japan vs Octopuses', but yeah 'pervy' is close enough.
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
The Spanish noun "friolero/a" meaning someone who is inherently sensitive to feeling cold all the time.
This is me

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beyknowles
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Ah these are lovely.

I like also the French savoir/connaître. I really wish we had in English, as it's an important distinction to make.
Yes !!
But still, I'd like there to be two verbs stemming from connaitre. To know someone as in to see them regularly and to speak to them, and to know of someone.

..Though I suppose saying 'I know OF him' and emphasising the 'of' suffices

would you class -ci and -là as 'untranslatable'? I know they are the equivalent of 'here' and 'there' but I suppose there is an equivalent for all words :unsure:
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SirMasterKey
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After my old housemate came back from Colombia he had a sash type thing with the words: 'Vaya la bonita'. Which doesn't really translate. A rough translation he said was 'Go beautifully'.
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chloevictoria
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'Verschlimmbessern' (German) which means trying to make something better but actually making it worse.
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Squaresquirrel
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
I've seen these series of illustrations floating around before. Sometimes other languages have amazing words for things which English doesn't - the German word schadenfreude is one of my favourite examples.

Another one is the Japanese word chotto* - it is a beautiful, amazing, face saving get out of jail free card. Feel awkward about doing someone a favour? Need to turn a date down? Got an unfavourable opinion but don't want to share it? Just chotto your way out of there and run for the hills.

What are your favourite 'untranslatable words' from other languages?

:cookie:

*Lit. 'a little' but it has many other uses.
Ahh another Chotto fan!!! I love that word haha XD
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thatitootoo
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Gezellig! :woo:
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by thatitootoo)
Gezellig! :woo:
What does this mean?
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thatitootoo
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
What does this mean?
Miss Anna Schoon explained it best in post #2!
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by thatitootoo)
Miss Anna Schoon explained it best in post #2!
Oh goodness, sorry! First thing on a Friday, and I'm not the sharpest at the best of times....
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Rorschach II
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(Original post by chloevictoria)
'Verschlimmbessern' (German) which means trying to make something better but actually making it worse.
I'm going to use this in my German xDDDDDD
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Rorschach II
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This is a Welsh word I know of but I'm indifferent to - "Hiraeth"

Hiraeth, pronounced [hɨraɪ̯θ], is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire[1] for the Wales of the past.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiraeth

Quite a mouthful :P
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Anna Schoon
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(Original post by XcitingStuart)
This is a Welsh word I know of but I'm indifferent to - "Hiraeth"

Hiraeth, pronounced [hɨraɪ̯θ], is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire[1] for the Wales of the past.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiraeth

Quite a mouthful :P
A bit like the Portuguese ​saudade?
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