I borrowed this.

I borrowed these words from a list on another blog somewhere. They’re words that have no English equivalent. I think we should make up words for these. because I like them.

1. Waldeinsamkeit (German): the feeling of being alone in the woods

2. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time

3. Taarradhin (Arabic): a way of resolving a problem without anyone losing face (not the same as our concept of a compromise – everyone wins)

4. Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

5. Esprit de l’escalier (French): a witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs…

6. Meraki (Greek): doing something with soul, creativity, or love

7. Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways’, referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language:

8. Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.

9. Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favour, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favor to be repaid.

10. Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions

11. Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left

I feel that these are particularly deep concepts and it is a shame that our own language cannot contain these words. But, such is the tragedy of English. It is an imperfect language, no matter how I love it. Of course, that’s how all love is I suppose.

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