https://www.duolingo.com/Speir_

Words with no direct English equivalent

Speir_
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A few words with their closest definitions/meanings included:

"Hiraeth (Welsh)": A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, which maybe never was; the nostalgia of the lost places of your past
"Lagom (Swedish)": Not too much, not too little, but just right
"Tartle (Scottish)": The panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can't quite remember
"Hygge (Danish)": the pleasant, genial, and intimate feeling associated with sitting around a fire in the winter with close friends.
"Litost (Czech)": a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.

Another word with no direct English definition is "Packesel" (which is German), which goes something along the lines of: "the person who’s stuck carrying everyone else’s bags on a trip."

What other words have no straightforward English equivalent?

1 year ago

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SeptimusBones
SeptimusBones
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One old but gold from Finnish is "kalsarikännit", referring to the act of being or getting drunk while at home alone in one's underwear.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Facepalms

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca
Arcaeca
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Fr. l'esprit de l'escalier - the act of coming up with a clever comeback after it's already too late to use it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MelvilQ
MelvilQ
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In German this is called "Treppenwitz".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Both happen to me ALL. THE. TIME. XD.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KingRomanV
KingRomanV
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Saudade is a popular one in Brazilian Portuguese (perhaps EU Portuguese, Idk tbh haha). Basically it means nostalgia or an extreme longing for something or someone that's perhaps unattainable. For example, if I was in a relationship and it ended and I was having a Drake, Adele, Lana Del Rey, and entire tub of ice cream moment, it'd probably be because of "saudade" for that person/relationship.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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I have entire tubs of ice cream without feeling saudade. Fine, not seriously, but I've come close.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KingRomanV
KingRomanV
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honestly same

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverCharacter
SilverCharacter
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  • 530

So it's a more commonly used word for fangirling? haha

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KingRomanV
KingRomanV
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No its more about being bitter and sad about what you used to have, think, feel, etc. but still longing for it lol.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverCharacter
SilverCharacter
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Oh! Interesting. Truly untranslatable. ^_^

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeeganRyan3

A German one is "fremdschämen", which is basically in Englisch "being embarrassed for another person", but it's truly like a deep down embarrassment that there's no quick Englisch way to describe.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clrrandall
clrrandall
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I think "second-hand embarrassment" carries the same meaning??

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre
airelibre
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Cringe is pretty close

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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I'd translate 'lagom' as 'sufficient'.

A good German one is 'Kummerspeck', which translates as 'grief bacon'. It means excess weight gained due to overeating from being unhappy.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ekirays

One of my favourite ones HAVE to be kilig ~ It is Tagalog (PHI) for "the excitement one gets from seeing or experiencing a romantic gesture" <3

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LiaCaran

Here are other Tagalog words I know

Tampo - when you're showing someone that you're mad at them, although you're not really that mad. Usually, the person doing this wants the other person to make it up to them.

Gigil - the urge of pinching someone out of cuteness. It may also be a word for suppressed anger that you can't let out.

Torpe - someone who feels shy about expressing their attraction to a person they like.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ekirays

Ahhh yes, good ones! Also thanks for adding me CX

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Jayus (Indonesian) When a joke is so stupid and so not funny, but you just have to laugh.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverCharacter
SilverCharacter
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I love these... not an original but still good:

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Speir_
Speir_
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Haha, thanks for that, SilverCharacter! 3 I most likely wouldn't be able to pronounce "Juoksentelisinkohan" (it's a little bit long, lol!)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverCharacter
SilverCharacter
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Same! Finnish isn't really my strong suit. I need to practice more >.<

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Speir_
Speir_
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Finnish isn't my strong suit, either; it's very complex and confusing, and I don't have much commitment to stick with it! .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wildman6647

Schadenfreude: the pleasure taken from the misery of others (German)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ekirays

Haha wow that's really sadistic

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wildman6647

It is the most famous example

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lushberry

Well I know the word mencomot means stealing things that don't have much value ,but I don't know which language its from.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BlahBlah7137

Indonesian.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lushberry

Thank You!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grey236
grey236
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Gezellig - (Dutch) Kinda like a warm and cozy feeling, intimate, sociable

"Op Kerstavond zaten wij allemaal bij de haard terwijl het buiten sneeuwde. Het was zeer gezellig"

"On Christmas Eve we all sat by the warm fireplace as it snowed outside. It was very cozy"

Imperium - (Latin) kinda like "power to command" and one who has it is an imperator. Imperium is usually translated as 'empire' such as "Imperium Romanum"

"Imperator Romanus imperio multo usus erat dum patriam eius regebat"

"The Roman Emperor used much imperium while he ruled the country"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arachnje
Arachnje
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やっぱり (yappari), or やはり(yahari) in Japanese, used to convey diverse versions of "confirming a presumption", and may have a range of English translations, like (After all), (I knew it), (It is, isn't it!), and others, non of which being a mirror-image equivalent of what the word conveys in Japanese.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Kirakira. Definition: More than just glittering, dazzling, sparkling, shimmering, Etc. Language: Japanese. Totally, absolutely one of my favorites.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nemesis_NaR

German: Ohrwurm - A melody that got stuck in your head and you keep singing it

Czech: Bufetit (verb), bufeťák (a person) - To eat thrown away food (like from a dustbin) or to dig through trash. "Bufeťák" can be a homeless person or you can tell it about a dog that loves eating anything at least resembling food.

Akorát - Just the right amount.

And I disagree with your word "lítost". Lítost can be translated as "sorrow, grief, regret, remorse". Maybe you meant "sebelítost" byt my dictionary shows the English translation "self-pity".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre
airelibre
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I think Ohrwurm comes from English (earworm).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maughanster_
Maughanster_
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Dutch: gezellig—see here: http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/155-gezellig

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Kilig perhaps... It's pretty much ''Romantic excitement'' It's Filipino.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Oh sorry, I just realized someone else did Kilig... Sorry ekirays, I didn't copy you.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ekirays

CX

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LiaCaran

Hi, are you Filipino?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Nope. Not at all.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LiaCaran

Gotcha

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre
airelibre
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We use "packhorse" as an equivalent of Packesel, but I guess it's not all that common. "Why have I got to be your packhorse, carry your own stuff!"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Speir_
Speir_
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Thanks for the link! ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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No problem.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeviPolasak
LeviPolasak
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In Yiddish:

פּרווה Something that is neither dairy nor poultry

To be happy/glad that someone has something good, or is doing well, basically being happy for someone else. פאַרגינען

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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I am so happy I have never been tartle before.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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“Tartle” was discussed here two months ago.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/w1ndh0ek
w1ndh0ek
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"saudades" from Portuguese?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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TRATOLIŠTĚ – a large puddle of blood. Czech :D

1 year ago
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