The Beauty Of Language: 11 Words With No Translation

I’m sure you’ve all seen this meme, right?


Wherein the adults of the world declare that when they were young, popular music had real lyrics and used beautiful language. I guess this one is suggesting that the popular opinion of the world has gone to poo since society deigns to enjoy the music of someone singing lyrics of such meager linguistic content. And while I don’t think its fair to compare Justin Bieber to Frank Sinatra (an argument that I won’t get into here), I do think that this little visual rant has a bit of something to it. From using text message abbreviations to general linguistic use, our everyday language does feel like it has gone a little bit downhill. Perhaps we could stand to use a few more robust words in our colloquial vocabulary?

To that end, I present you with the handy infographic below. As a former language major and linguistics geek, I’ve always found that there are some really cool words in other languages that contain more meaning than the average term and don’t necessarily translate in the same way to other languages. So what are some of these great words? Keep reading to learn more.

Awesome Foreign Language Words

  • Waldeinsamkeit – the feeling of being lost alone in the woods
  • Cualacino – the mark left on the table by a glass
  • Komorebi – sunlight that filters through the leaves
  • Iktsuarpok – the feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep going outside to see if someone is coming
  • Jayus – A joke told so poorly and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh
  • Mangata – The road-like reflection of the moon on the water
  • Goya – the transporting suspension of disbelief found in good storytelling
  • Dépaysement – the feeling of not being in one’s home country
  • Pochemuchka – a person who asks a lot of questions
  • Pana Po’o – The act of scratching your head to help you remember something you’ve forgotten
  • Sobremesa – the time spent after lunch or dinner, talking with the people you shared the meal with


1 Comment

  1. CarmenB

    September 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you so much for including the word “sobremesa”. It is a precious time in our culture, often extending for many more hours than the meal itself, and one custom hard to keep in restaurants in the US, where I was once brought the receipt together with my meal!!