August 16, 2017

When there are no words

Some favorites from Foreign Words That Don’t Exist In English

Sobremesa (Spanish)
...that sedated, drowsy, happy conversation that results from full stomachs, a few bottles of wine, and good friends.

Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You suddenly discover that you have a long-lost brother. After a series of feverish phone calls, he agrees to meet you at your house. You’re so excited that you’re lips are numb and your palms are sweating. Because of your excitement, you keep going outside to see if he’s arrived. That act of going outside is iktsuarpok.

Greng-jai (Thai)
Have you ever asked someone to help you move? You feel bad for asking them and don’t really want them to do it because it will be pain for them. You really don’t want to ask them to help you move, especially since you have a vast weight collection.  That feeling of not wanting to ask is Greng-jai.

Tartle (Scots)
You know that awful feeling you have when you need to introduce someone but can’t remember their name? You mumble and bumble, then finally say something lame like, “Yes, this is my…friend.” Then you feel like a moron. That experience is tartle.  In English, we call this, “Looking like a fool.”

Fremdschämen (German); Myötähäpeä (Finnish)
Meaning something close to “vicarious embarrassment”, this is what you feel when someone makes a complete fool of themselves in front of a large crowd.

Ya’arburnee (Arabic)
Literally translated, “May you bury me,” this intense word is a declaration that you wish to die before someone else because you love them so much and can’t stand to live without them.
Posted by Jill Fallon at August 16, 2017 11:26 AM | Permalink