Do Emotions Translate?

Awhile back, we posted a graphic that highlighted 11 untranslatable words from non-English languages. Not untranslatable in the sense that there is no way to explain them so that they can be understood, but in the sense that there is no singular word with the same meaning in the English language. It was probably one of my favorite infographics (perhaps because I’m somewhat of a language junkie), but it also resonated with lots of other people as well. We heard from a number of you who told us that you, too, loved these awesome words that are filled with subtlety and suggestion.

Today’s infographic follows along the same lines – it looks at words from other languages that describe specific emotions. But these words don’t translate well to English. I think they’re awesome – so many of them contain so much specific description in one word! Enjoy – and don’t be afraid to throw in some of these robust words into your vocabulary!

Emotions, Translated

(Click here for an enlarged – and more easily readable – version of the graphic!)

nb: Not all of the words from the graphic have been included in text below. See the infographic for a closer look. 

Saudade – (Portugese) A somewhat melancolic feeling of incompleteness, or longing for something that may never return.

Hiraeth – (Welsh) Homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed and the earnest desire for the Wales of the past.

Ei Viisti – (Estonian) The feeling of slight laziness when you can’t be bothered to do anything.

Gezelligheid – (Dutch) The comfort and coziness of being at home, with friends, with loved ones, or general togetherness.

Tocka – (Russian) Great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause.

 

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