Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Foreign Words    13 untranslatable words
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
13 untranslatable words Login/Join
 
Member
posted
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
I know that I am one who has been known to say, here, that there are untranslatable words. I got that from my Chinese colleague who has told me there are some Chinese words that she just can't translate into English. Most here disagree with me, I might add.

However, having said that I think there are untranslatable words, I don't agree with some of those words. "The" can't be tranlated? It is an article and certainly can be. In Spanish it is translated as "el," for example. "Schadenfreude?" "Epicaricacy" or, for those who don't think it a word (we've talked about that here!), "taking joy in another's misery." That is perfect. Laughing when someone slips on a banana peel, for example. "Shlimazl" was discussed here, as was torschlusspanik.
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
However, having said that I think there are untranslatable words, I don't agree with some of those words. "The" can't be tranlated? It is an article and certainly can be. In Spanish it is translated as "el," for example.


Kalleh, read it again.
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
"Toska" in Russian means melancholy or boredom. You don't have to know Russian, you just know how to use a Russian/English dictionary. Smile
 
Posts: 4431 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Apparently Nabokov said this about toska:

quote:
"No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom."


This is not surprising; languages divide up reality differently.

The SpecGram post that I opened this topic with is satire on these lists of untranslatable words.
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
 
Posts: 4431 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I haven't read it but I've heard it's well-reseached.
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Back to "tosca," here's a comment from the only native Russian speaker I know in Indiana:
In terms of Russian word “toska” (тоска), it’s more of a longing for something, missing something (someone), a feeling that usually develops over a longer period of time and is longer-lasting feeling than just melancholy, the closest equivalent in English is probably “yearning”.
 
Posts: 4431 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by goofy:
Apparently Nabokov said this about toska:

quote:
"No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom."


This is not surprising; languages divide up reality differently.

The SpecGram post that I opened this topic with is satire on these lists of untranslatable words.


Sounds exact,y like 'ennui' in French, which translates to 'depression' in English
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Of interest?

[url=http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6546158-uglier-than-a- monkey-s-armpit]http://www.goodreads.com/book/...an-a-monkey-s-armpit[/url]


This reminds me of my 5th-gr-teacher's story-time [circa '50's], which included Rudyard Kipling stories: i learned there were any ways to insult a person which did not require scatalogy or4-letter words-- such as, "warty-toad of a mud-puddle."
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Foreign Words    13 untranslatable words

Copyright © 2002-12