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Top 10 ‘untranslatable’ words that should exist in English

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For anyone that understands more than language just a little bit should know that not everything in one language transfers over to another. 


What this means is that saying one thing in a language could mean something completely different or mean nothing at all in another languages.


We've gone ahead and made a list of 10 words from different languages that we think should have an English equivalent. 




  1. koselig (Norwegian): a deep sense of warmth, happiness and comfort
  2. abbiocco (Italian): drowsiness from eating a big meal
  3. iktsuarpok (Inuit): the feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if someone is coming
  4. pochemuchka (Russian): someone who asks too many questions
  5. jayus (Indonesian): a joke told so poorly and that is so unfunny that you still laugh
  6. dépaysement (French): the feeling that comes from being a foreigner in another country
  7. mångata (Swedish): the road-like reflection that the moon creates on water
  8. fremdscham (German): shame felt for actions done by someone else
  9. age-otori (Japanese): to look worse after a haircut


What do you think of these words? Do you have any that you'd like to add?


Read the full post Top 10 ‘untranslatable’ words that should exist in English


Sound off in the comments






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I love stuff like this. I knew about fremdscham already, because I needed a word to describe why some comedies are unwatchable for me. My wife is pochemuchka, everyone says so, although not in so few words.

I've got another German word for you: Torschlusspanik: the feeling of urgency or panic to accomplish something before some imaginary gate closes and “it’s all too late.” It’s mostly used for those who sense their biological clock is running out and feel the need to settle with a partner or have children immediately.

What a jem, thanks Ryan, sorry for the necromancy. #necroposting

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