Monday, June 25, 2012

Designer Dick Lundgren's “untranslatable” words from 21 languages:

21 Words Worth Spreading

Dutch:  pretoogjes: ‘fun-eyes,’ the eyes of a chuckling person 
who is up to some benign mischief

Polish: bakalie: any dried fruit, nuts, and candied citrus peel used in baking or added to ice cream

Croatian: milozvučan: having a voice that sounds nice and sweet

Serbian: мерак: pleasure derived from simple joys, such as spending time feasting and merrymaking

Norwegian: dugnad: a planned (semi-)volunteer work session in/for a community or local interest group

Spanish: sobremesa: the time spent after lunch or dinner, talking to people you shared the meal with

French: savoir-être: knowing-how-to-be, soft skills, the relational equivalent of savoir-vivre

Czech: panenka: a trick to confuse your opponent, named after Panenka’s surprising penalty in the 1976 European Championship

Bulgarian: чародей: an arch-Bulgarian wizard, magician, sorcerer, necromancer, enchanter

Russian: тьмутаракань: the back of beyond, the middle of nowhere, the underdeveloped depths of the country

Greek: φιλότιμο: ‘friend-honour,’ to respect and honour your friends, the quintessence of Greeks

Italian: fattapposta: ‘made-on-purpose’: passkey of Italian conversation, can mean any object, especially when clarified by a gesture

Thai: tɕāj: sincere kindness and willingness to help others, even before they asked, without expecting something in return

Japanese: いただきます: a phrase to start a meal with gratitude to all: from cooks and farmers to lives to be eaten

Swedish: mångata: a roadlike reflection of the moon in the water
Latin: aemulatio: Roman alternative to plagiarism: to show respect for literary predecessors by delivering an improved version of their work

Arabic: mo:ru:ɐ: the peak of manhood, a mixture of bravery and kindness

Chinese: yù: jade, a five-stroke character representing five virtues: benevolence, righteousness, bravery, wisdom, trustworthiness
Armenian: χatʃkɑɹ: ‘cross-stone’, a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross
Urdu: goya: a contemplative “as-if” which nonetheless feels like reality

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