Useful Words English Doesn’t Have

Anyone who’s ever started learning another language has come across words that just don’t translate into English. My favorites are ‘saudades,’ from Portuguese (meaning a feeling of longing, melancholy or nostalgia), and ‘gezellig,’ from Dutch (meaning a nice atmosphere, but also belonging and time spent with loved ones). Today, Slate published an excerpt from Lost in Translation that lists many more.

My favorite is ‘tretar,’ which apparently means a third refill of coffee in Swedish. This sounds like a very useful word! Go check out the original article to find some more useful words we don’t have in English. The accompanying artistic diagrams are very sweet too.

What’s your favorite word that doesn’t translate? Are there any words from English that don’t translate well to other languages?

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2 Comments

Filed under Language Learning, Randoms & My Life

2 responses to “Useful Words English Doesn’t Have

  1. ‘Internet, downloader, uploader’.. I don’t know if these are words, yet.
    As for an English word that doesn’t translate well, the top on my list would be, surely, ‘serendipity’ 🙂

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