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Multi-Lingual People Explain Which Words From Their Native Language Don't Translate Into English

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Language is a beautiful, fascinating, and most tricky thing.

And each language has its quirks, often finding ways to express feelings and events in ways that other languages cannot.

After Redditor oskskioskski asked the online community, "What are some words that only exist in your language but does not exist in English?" many people from around the world decided to show us a thing or two.


"It has no direct translation..."

The word "kilig" in Filipino. It has no direct translation in the English language but the closest is "the feeling of getting butterflies in your stomach."

phauuyap

"...is the Japanese word for..."

Giphy

Tsundoku is the Japanese word for books you have bought but have just let pile up unread.

ReignofWinter

"The word..."

The word 'hiraeth' in Welsh.

Hiraeth is hard to translate, but it means a deep kind of homesickness or longing.

limegreenbunny

"It means..."

Kalsarikännit in Finnish. It means when you're drinking alcohol at your home wearing only underwear with no intention to go anywhere.

mikkomikomikko

"A feeling of pleasure..."

Schadenfreude - from google: A feeling of pleasure or satisfaction when something bad happens to someone else.

Fremdscham: Embarrassment you feel through the cringy or humilating actions of someone else.

overbread

"It can mean anything..."

The word "lekker" in Afrikaans.

It can mean anything from pleasant to tasty to good to pleasurable. It can be used in relation to food, feelings, interjectory, as a pronoun or adjective.

There is no specific translation for "lekker", so you would need to choose a different word for it in English every time, depending on context.

ThePatrician007

"It's a feeling in your throat..."

"Empalagoso" in Spanish. It's a feeling in your throat when you eat too much sweet creamy stuff. It can also mean when someone is excessively sweet towards you.

Giger-lago

"It's a Dutch word..."

'Gezelligheid,' it's a Dutch word which indicates that you and the people you are with are having a good time.

bschoone

"The German word..."

The German word "Backpfeifengesicht" is more or less translated as "A face in desperate need of a slap."

maleorderbride

"In Portuguese..."

In Portuguese there are two translations for "to be".

One is "ser" which is to be in a more permanent way, usually used to refer to your nationality, a job, or a personal trait, e.g. "Eu sou brasileiro" ("I am Brazilian"), "Ela é uma médica" ("She is a doctor"), or "Ele é um cara legal" ("He is a nice guy").

The other one is "estar", which is to be temporarily, usually used to refer to emotions, current location, or an action (present continuous), e.g. "Eu estou nervoso" ("I am nervous"), "Ela está na estação de trem" ("She is at the train station"), or "Ele está dormindo" ("He is sleeping").

The same applies for Spanish, with the same verbs too.

radioactivecafe

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