With millions of words in the English language, it's hard to believe that there isn't a word to describe everything. Well, where English leaves off, the rest of the 6,499 languages of the world picks up! Here are 20 words from a variety of languages that are ingeniously untranslatable into a single word in English!
In Indonesian - "A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh."
In French - "Coffee shop table hoggers who consume very little food and drink." Aren't they the worst!
In Taglog (one of the languages of the Philippines)- "The desire to squeeze something unbelievably cute, such as a baby."
In Hebrew - Blessings given to someone for something new in their lives.
In Levantine Arabic - "You bury me," this is a declaration of one's hopes to die before another person so dear to them that it would be difficult to live without them.
In German - The feeling of pleasure upon seeing another's misfortune.
In Brazilian Portuguese - "The act of tenderly running one's fingers through someone's hair."
In Scottish - "The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you've forgotten their name."
In Czech and Slovak - "The act of calling a mobile phone only to have it ring once so that the other person will call back, allowing the caller to save money on minutes."
In Spanish - "A climactic show of spirit such as in flamenco dancing or bull-fighting."
In Norwegian - "The euphoria of a first love."
12. L'esprit de l'escalier
In French - "Staircase wit," the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is already too late to deliver it.
In Korean - "The art of listening and gauging another's mood. Knowing what to say or do or not what to say or do in a given situation."
In Russian - "A person who asks a lot of questions."
In Gaelic - "The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip before taking a sip of whiskey."
In Pascuense (the language of the people of Easter Island) - "The act of taking all the objects one desires from a friend's house by gradually borrowing all of them."
In Tshiluba (one of the languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) - "A person who is ready to forgive any abuse the first time it occurs, tolerate the second time, but neither forgive nor tolerate the third time." In other words, 'third time's a charm'.
In Japanese - "A way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay."
19. Pana Po'o
In Hawaiian - "The act of scratching your head to remember something you've forgotten."
In Portuguese - "The feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost." How beautiful!
Images (top to bottom): ntwowe/ photostock/ Naypong