Untranslatable

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Untranslatable

Postby Sabina » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:20 am

Untranslatable!
For those special moments here is a list of words that cannot be translated into English, or simply don't exist in English.

I will begin with...
Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan)
because it has already been posted in DS.
Translated it would mean a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that they both desire but which neither one wants to start.

Jayus (Indonesian)
"A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh"
Note to self: I'll have to remember this one...

Litost (Czech)
Milan Kundera said... "As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it." The closest definition is a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.

Kyoikumama (Japanese)
"A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement"

Tingo (Pascuense of Easter Island)
"The act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them."

Toska (Russian)
As explained by V. Nabokov: "No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom."

Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
"To go outside to check if anyone is coming."
Note: The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Russia (Siberia) and the United States (Alaska).

Gheegle (Filipino)
"The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute."

Cualacino (Italian)
"The mark left on a table by a cold glass."

L’esprit de escalier (French)
Literally: "the spirit of the staircase." "The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said."

Forelsket (Norwegian)
"The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love."

Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish)
"The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation."

There is a reason why language develops the way it does, and evidently it hasn't developed everywhere exactly the same. This is interesting because it makes one wonder. For instance...

    Do people in Italy put down a cold glass of water on a table more often than in other countries? Is it a larger problem there?
    Do Japanese mothers more relentlessly push their children toward academic achievement?
    Do English-speaking countries not have anything as cute as people in the Philippines?
And so on...
Think about it. B0)
"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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Namaste

Postby mirjana » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:08 am

Sabina, it is very nice idea to open this topic.

Namaste (India)
Namaste is the salutation originating from India. There are some descriptive translations:
"I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me." -- Deepak Chopra

"I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One - Mahatma Gandhi

"That which is of God in me greets that which is of God in you."
"The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you."
"May we shine in the same light."
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Saudade

Postby Sabina » Tue May 17, 2011 1:30 pm

Here is a word worth knowing...

Saudade

Saudade-1899.jpg
Saudade-1899.jpg (23.08 KiB) Viewed 7318 times
Saudade (1899), by Almeida Júnior.
The Portuguese word Saudade (singular) or saudades (plural) describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return.

Saudade has been described as a "vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist ... a turning towards the past or towards the future". A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing. It may also be translated as a deep longing or yearning for something which does not exist or is unattainable.

Saudade was once described as "the love that remains" or "the love that stays" after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone ( e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence.
In Portuguese, 'tenho saudades tuas', translated as 'I have saudades for you' means 'I miss you', but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have 'saudades' of someone with which one is, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.

In Brazil, the day of saudade is officially celebrated on January 30.
Source: Wikipedia
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Re: Untranslatable

Postby mirjana » Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

It is a very nice word with deep meaning, I like it. Thank you for a good choice.
What I like is that In Brazil it is celebrated. It would be nice that we, each for self, can have one day in year at least for remembering persons, group of people or situations that are not there any more in the way they used to be. Such celebration could cause a very therapeutically effect, by putting the whole longing into the perspective of time(past, the moment of celebration), with everything good and bed connected to such memories, opening us for some other approach toward self, others and life. I see it as a healing celebration.
Very nice word that fits very nice in my life in this time. I only have to pick a day as my Saudade Day.
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Re: Untranslatable

Postby Rachel » Fri May 20, 2011 4:39 pm

I too like the word Saudade. I am in constant Saudade =0)
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