Miriam
Words that are unique in your language

I just read this funny article: http://gypsy.ninja/23-foreign-words-related-to-travel-with-no-translation-to-english/. ;

There are also plenty of websites with unique words in different languages. These are two of them: http://www.fluentu.com/german/blog/weird-german-words-vocabulary/#, http://www.fluentu.com/japanese/blog/weird-strange-japanese-words/.

My favourite untranslatable German word is Innerer Schweinehund. If you read the link with the German words, you will find the explanation.

So, now I'm interested , what's your favourite word that has no equivalent in English?

Sep 29, 2016 7:23 PM
Comments · 31

Here are a few interesting ones from Irish:

Stadhan: a flock of sea-birds flying over a shoal of fish (a useful sign for fishermen);

Ainbhlinn: froth from the mouth of a decaying corpse;

Doirbeach: infested with water beetles (you can add the ending -ach to many nouns to create and adjective with the meaning "infested with..., abounding in...");

Clabán: a choppy patch in the sea;

Fraighfhliuch: damp due to having been in contact with a wet wall.

September 30, 2016

@Susanna

I guess the word you are looking for is "cafuné", but it is a noun.

@Andrea

Why is it a flaw? I'm just asking about words that are untranslatable into English / unique to your language. I didn't define "language" and therefore not exclude dialect. And also, I didn't ask for every single word. Just some interesting examples.

October 6, 2016
Here are a couple of expressions in Danish that are a bit amusing.

The sausage of death (dødens pølse). If something is really boring you can say:
“It’s the sausage of death.”
I don’t know the origin of this phrase.

“No cow on the ice” (ingen ko på isen) means that there is no problem or danger. It’s a very informal thing to say. You wouldn’t hear a doctor say, “The patient underwent brain surgery, which went well. So there’s no cow on the ice now.”

A “snot puppy” (snotvalp) could be used about a cheeky child or young person. It could be meant affectionately or it could be derogatory.
October 3, 2016

@Mikkel

Great, I'm glad. Actually I found "ler" most difficult, so I had to guess from context. ("What could happen to someone with a long nose?") ;-)

October 3, 2016

Ok, so I'm only guessing. No google translate involved.

Mein Vater hat ein neues Haus gekauft. (My father bought a new house)

Meine Nase ist so lang,  dass mich Leute auslachen. (My nose is so long, that people laugh at me.) 

October 3, 2016
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Miriam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)