language trends The idea of ‘untranslatable’ words says more about English speakers than other cultures Be sceptical when it's claimed that a language has 'no word for X' or '50 words … Untranslatable Words in The English Language. English is a complex language, but there are still many untranslatable words and concepts where English doesn’t yet have a phrase to describe them. These are known as untranslatable words. What’s the Japanese word for grape? Inside is a set of cards, each with a word in a foreign language describing a concept for which there is no direct equivalent in English. It is considered to be one of the hardest words to translate. Some languages are simply unable to capture the true essence of a word when it has been translated from another language. How do you say restroom in French? Eunoia itself is one of those words, meaning “a well mind; beautiful thinking”, derived from ancient Greek. English is one of the most complex languages out there, growing everyday with dozens of words. If you’re a translator or just speak more than one language you probably answer questions like these frequently. In fact, English even has a single-word technical term for a … Today Lingholic introduces you to 15 untranslatable words that would really come in handy in the English dictionary. We often hear people use the term ‘lost in translation’ when referring to mishaps or mistakes in translating from language to another. The answers, by the way, are salle de repos and グレープ … (Fun fact: It also happens to be the shortest word in the English language that contains all six vowels.) Untranslatability is the property of text or speech for which no equivalent can be found when translated into another language. Around a year ago, I decided to aggregate a list of these untranslatable words into a project called Eunoia. Every language has words that exist in no other language. Now, I’m sure a few people will look at this post’s title, then read through it, and then ask themselves, “Wait a minute, if these 15 words are untranslatable, why are they all followed by translations?” There’s no word for the German schadenfreude or the Inuit iktsuarpok in English, so the best we can hope for is to approximate or explain these untranslatable words’ meanings. A text that is considered to be untranslatable is considered a lacuna, or lexical gap.The term arises when describing the difficulty of achieving the so-called perfect translation. Fernweh – German (from Germany) The term fernweh describes the feeling of longing to be in far-off places. Here are 8 beautiful untranslatable words that defy straightforward translation. Iyer drew the images as part of the “100 Days Project,” a website that invited and encourages artists to spend 100 days straight doing and creating what they love. 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