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Lost In Translation: 30 Words With No English Equivalent

Lost In Translation: 30 Words With No English Equivalent

As extensive as the English language might be, other languages continue to have many words that are completely absent! This list has 30 words from all around the world with no exact english equivalents and maybe you’ll find some of these interesting or perhaps even be motivated to pick up a new language, because why not?

1. Schadenfreude

(German) A feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people. Notice the “Freud” in there, perhaps Sigmund Freud loved hearing about people’s troubles and built up his psychodynamic field on that!

2. Fernweh

(German) That feeling you get of homesickness for a place you’ve never ever been to! This is quite similar to wanderlust except that wanderlust is a yearning to visit all those places rather than that distinct feeling of homesickness for them.

3. Sobremesa

(Spanish) The moment after eating a meal when the food is gone but the conversation is still flowing at the table. Usually after the main meal of the day where the Spanish often linger on at the table drinking coffee, chatting, playing cards or watching TV before returning to work later in the afternoon.

4. Treppenwitz

(German) That moment when we think of the perfect comeback long after the chance to actually use the comeback! It essentially means “a clever remark that comes to mind when it’s too late to say it”.

5. Backpfeifengesicht

(German) Do you ever just look at somebody and get so annoyed that you just want to hit them in the face? Well this is the word for you because “Backpfeifengesicht” is a face badly in need of a fist!

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6. Lagom

(Swedish) Lagom is all about moderation. It means not too much and not too little, but just the right amount. Typically referring to the etiquette of taking your share. Lagom is just the perfect spot on the scale!

7. Estrenar

(Spanish) The definition is to wear or use something for the first time but it could be applied for meals, clothes, houses, cars, everything!

8. Razbliuto

(Russian) Describes the feeling a person has for someone he or she once loved. Quite a sad word but here it is for when you really want to convey that.

9. Bakku-shan

(Japanese) A beautiful girl as long as she’s being viewed from behind. Ouch.

10. Mencomot

(Indonesian) Stealing things of little to no value, not because you need them but for the fun of it! This has also become a condition called Kleptomania that refers to the inability to stop the urge to steal items for reasons other than personal use or financial gain.

11. Antier

(Spanish) A one-word way of saying the day before yesterday or a shorter version of “antes de ayer”. Can we have a word for the the day before before yesterday?

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12. Yūgen

(Japanese) Means “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe … and the sad beauty of human suffering”. This concept is very important in Japanese culture and the exact translation often depends on the context. In Chinese philosophy the term was taken from “yūgen” meaning “dim”, “deep” or “mysterious”.

13. Schlimazl

(Yiddish) An “inept, bungling person” who is chronically unlucky! (Also Schlimazel or Shlimazl)

14. Hygge

(Danish) Relaxing with a few friends and loved ones while having a meal or some drinks. The word is all about coziness. This is also similar to just “chilling” with a bunch of good friends but Hygge is far more precise.

15. Desvelado

(Spanish) Being unable to sleep or to be sleep deprived. Not very pleasant.

16. Fisselig

(German) Being flustered to the point of incompetence. Some say this would be the same as “jittery” but it’s different because it conveys this temporary state of inexactitude and sloppiness that is caused by another person’s nagging!

17. Tsundoku

(Japanese) Leaving a new book unread after buying it and just letting it pile up with the other unread lonely books in your house, possibly the meanest thing you could do to something as valuable as a book! Don’t tsundoku!

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18. Shouganai

(Japanese) Connected to the idea of fate, this word means that something can’t be helped, so why worry about it? Worrying won’t stop the bad things from happening, it will only stop you from enjoying the good ones.

19. Tuerto

(Spanish) A man with only one eye. Loosely translates to “The One-Eyed”.

20. Uffda

(Swedish) This Swedish exclamation is a sympathetic word to use when someone else is in pain. Pronounced “OOF-dah”, it’s like a mix between “Ouch for you” and “I’m sorry you hurt yourself!”

21. Waldeinsamkeit

(German) The feeling of being alone in the woods. Some Hansel and Gretel or Red Riding Hood reference, I bet!

22. Fargin

(Yiddish) To wholeheartedly appreciate the success of others.

23. Weltschmerz

(German) A romanticised and weary sadness that is experienced by the most privileged of the youth! Translates literally to “world-grief”. Doesn’t that sound a little like our first world problems?

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24. Pochemuchka

(Russian) A person who asks too many questions. Yes, I’m looking at you girl in my class who never puts her hand down.

25. Saudade

(Portuguese) Melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away from you.

26. Tartle

(Scottish) If you’ve ever been talking to someone you’ve been introduced to before but their name has completely disappeared from your brain then you’ve tartled. Essentially means a hesitation in recognising a person or thing.

27. Aware

(Japanese) The bittersweetness of a brief and grading moment of transcendent beauty.

28. Tingo

(Pascuense) Slowly and gradually stealing your neighbour’s things by borrowing them and not returning them till you’ve built up a collection of all the things Not Yours!

29. Iktsuarpok

(Inuit) The frustration and annoyance that comes with waiting for someone to show up. To all you people who wait for your date at the restaurant for hours while the waiters glance pity looks at you every once in a while. Yes. You know what I mean.

30. Mamihlapinatapei

(Yagan) An unspoken yet really profound look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.

Do you know any other words that we don’t have in the English language?

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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