Untranslatable Words

December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I love words. I love learning new words and trying to incorporate them into everyday use. When my husband uses a big word, I swoon a little. You can imagine I was excited to find these awesomely untranslatable words that possess meanings that only a full sentence in English could convey.

Here are some of my favourites:

Jayus
Indonesian – A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.

Tartle
Scottish – The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.

Torschlusspanik
German – Translated literally, this word means “gate-closing panic,” but its contextual meaning refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages.”

Dépaysement
French – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.

Learn them all at 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World!

Note: I think I’m going to start using “tartle” and “dépaysement” on a regular basis, as they both apply to me weekly.

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