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Monday, 24 September 2012

How Beautiful Language Can Be

A few weeks ago I found some amazing articles all about 'untranslatable words'. They referred to different words or phrases that explain a feeling, emotion or situation but simply cannot be translated into English. As much as I adore the English language, it continually surprises me to find that we don't already have a word or phrase that capture these specific feelings. Some of them are so beautiful that I couldn't help but sharing some of my favourites with you all.

Mamihlapinatapei (Yagan) The wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who desire to initiate something, but are both reluctant to start.

Yanfen (Chinese) A relationship by fate or destiny. This is a complex concept. It draws on principles of predetermination in Chinese culture, which dictate relationships, encounters and affinities, mostly among lovers and friends.

Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese) The act of tenderly running your fingers through someone's hair

La Douleur Exquise (French) The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can't have.

Koi No Yokan (Japanese) The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.
I absolutely adore this one - it's like when you meet someone for the first time and you get that feeling deep inside that something, somewhere down the line is going to happen between you both, whether thats weeks or years from now. It's beautiful. According to one source I found, it differs from the meaning of 'love at first sight' because it does not imply that the feeling of love exists, rather it refers to the knowledge that a future love is inevitable.

Fernweh/Wanderlust (German) The opposite of home-sicknesses, a desire or longing to travel.

Wabi-sabi (Japanese) 'A flawed part of an elegant whole'. It refers to the idea of finding perfection or beauty within life's imperfections and recognizing that they are part of something larger.

Saudade (Portuguese) An intense, constant longing for something that does not and probably cannot exist. A vague and constant desire for a lose love, or for an imaginary, impossible, never-to-be-experienced love.
I think this one is perhaps me all over!

How beautiful are they all? Do you have a favourite? Have you ever felt something similar to anything mentioned in this article but have been unable to describe it exactly?

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