They Have a Word for It: A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words & Phrases
"ho'oponopomo (HO-OH-poh-no-poh-no) Hawaiian, in origin: Solving a problem by talking it out. A social mechanism our culture desperately needs. It is a social gathering and healing process that combines the functions of a religious ceremony, group therapy, family counseling session, town hall meeting, and small claims court. An occasion for this event might be a dispute beteween in-laws, a disagreement between business partners, sexual complications, or a minor t ...more
*Schadenfreude--from German: when someone is happy at someone else's misfortune.
*A cute one: Drachenfutter--also from German: when a husband brings home a gift or bouquet to his wife in apology for something he's said or done. [Drachenfutter=dragon fodder]
*Treppenwitz or esprit de l'escalier: when you think of a clever remark when it's too late to say it. 1st is fro ...more
For all those that think that English is a rich language, comes this fun little book that shows us how other cultures have developed words to express "just that"--a situation, and emotion, and event or a relationship.
It is fun to read and to say, "Oh, yes. I wish we had this word in English." Come to think of it, there are many words in English that have been ad ...more
Learning words for things we have difficulty even describing in English, or for which we lack even concepts, ...more
My favorite is yoin, which is Japanese, and a cousin of "nostalgia", but can be a ...more
It was first published in 1988 and includes a few words that I've learnt since then but I'm not sure how unusualthey were in English in 1988. Schadenfreude was one of thewords that I recognised.
My favourite so far is the Swedish word uffda which is to "ouch!" what"bless you!" is to sneezing. Much better...more
It should still be given credit to its effort in collecting unique vocabulary--although some are very loosely translated and taken out of context, despite the author's good intentions.
I'm 65 and live in Marin County, California -- just north of the Golden Gate -- and when I'm not writing (and when weather permits, when I am writing) I'm usually to be f ...more
Solving a problem by talking it out. After an invocation of the gods, the aggrieved parties sit down and discuss the issue until it is set right (pono means righteousness).”
a slight inflammation of the throat produced by screaming too much.”