Untranslateable words give us a unique window into other cultures

This one comes courtesy of 9gag.com, “Untranslatable Words, shows a lot about different cultures”.

The post features illustrated representations of the words, their meaning and their origin language, but I’ll transcribe them here (please do go look at the pretty pictures though also!). Apologies for the lack of accents on some of the letters, i’m not sure if that will break the formatting here.

1. Waldeinsamkeit (German) – The feeling of being alone in the woods
2. Cualacino (Italian) – The mark left on the table by a cold glass
3. Iktsuarpok (Inuit) – The feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming
4. Komorebi (Japenese) – Sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees
5. Pochemuchka (Russian) – A person who asks a lot of questions
6. Sobremesa (Spanish) – The time spent after lunch or dinner, talking to the people you shared the meal with
7. Jayus (Indonesian) – A joke told so poorly and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh [yeah, I’ve been guilty of this before too]
8. Pana Po’o (Hawaiin) – The act of scratching your head in order to help you remember something you have forgotten
9. Depaysement (French) – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country
10. Goya (Urdu) – The transporting suspension of disbelief that can occur i.e. in good storytelling
11. Mangata (Swedish) – The roadlike reflection of the moon on the water

Oddly enough as I think about this, I realize that when we know a select few words of another language, we are pretty much instantly able to hone in and notice when those words get said in the middle of an otherwise gibberish (to us) sentence. I know that even though I haven’t been able to keep up my Spanish studies for over a year now, I still catch lots of words in Spanish when I hear them, even if I don’t remember what they mean, I recognize the sounds of them.

Sidenote #2 – speaking of #6 above, sobre means on top of (if I recall right) and la mesa means table, so that word makes sense, even though I never came across it in my studies, it basically means “on top of the table” or “over the table”, so the only word missing is hablar (to talk).

Also, clearly I am a pochemuchka.

Care to share your thoughts?