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Thread: Favorite words in other languages

 
  1. #1
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    Default Favorite words in other languages

    We all have an affinity for words we learn in other languages that express things much more succinctly than any word in our mother tongues. For me:

    "ajeno" (Spanish) - definition: something that doesn't belong to you or you are not a part of.

    I can't describe exactly why I love this word...perhaps it's the mere simplicity of the idea that has no direct corollary in English. Yet it is so understandable as one word. Come on, English...get with the program!

    "eenheidsworst" (Dutch) - definition: a uniform, unimaginative piece of ground meat forced into a piece of sausage, when describing mass movements, such as pop culture.

    I think this is right. It's something similar. I don't speak Dutch but was introduced to this word by an acquaintance. Sure, it's long in the German/Dutch tradition, but a fantastic idea nonetheless.

    "Schadenfreude" (German) - definition: finding pleasure in others' pain (or "dolor ajeno" in Spanish!).

    Everyone's first big German word. It has been overused recently in English, but that does not take away from its brilliance as a concept.

    Please add others from as many languages as possible! I would love to see what English words people are fans of!

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    Senior Member Hebe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Let me add two more to the list:

    Razbliuto (a Russian word): The feeling a person has for someone he/she you used to love, but does not love anymore.

    apierkrieg (a German word): a bureaucratic paperwork whose only purpose is to prevent you from getting the refund, payment, or benefit you are entitled to

    Best regards !!!! .


    Truly, my dear young friends, you are a chosen generation. I hope you will never forget it.
    Gordon B. Hinckley

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    Senior Member Frank van den Eeden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Hi Scott and Hebe,

    I had never heard the word "eenheidsworst" before,
    yet my mother tongue is Dutch.
    So I looked it up, and it does exist as you say.
    I never heard it in England either ...
    Are you sure they use that in English ?

    "apierkrieg" must be "Papierkrieg" (Papier = paper) (Krieg = war)
    meaning red tape, bureaucracy

    SORRY for being a little cross ...
    "sorry" by the way is used in EVERY language (I think)

    kindest regards,
    (and I think it's a great subject)
    Frank
    beste groeten - sincŔres salutations - kindest regards - atentamente - mit freundlichen GrŘen

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    Talking Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Great thread this, thank you for that Scott.

    My two cents:

    eenheidsworst is indeed a great rendering of the concept of uniformity and colorlessness. I do not think Scott meant to say it is used in English though, just Dutch...

    Another one of my favorites in this language is herfst, the only (monosyllabic) word in Dutch that has four consecutive consonants. I would like to invite the non-native Dutch speakers to try to pronounce it, it's quite a challenge. In addition, no word in Dutch rimes with it (this is also unique). For those of you wondering: it means autumn.

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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    I kept thinking about this thread, and came up with this expression (i know, it's not a word) in English that I really like:

    "All round good egg": something/someone that is thoroughly good and bereft of any negativity.

    It has even developed into a (somewhat) widely used acronym: ARGE

    Good eggs all 'round!

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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Now I know how Frank feels, because I had never heard of that expression...but then I searched for it and the hits contained a lot of "colours" and "blimey", so it's obviously a British expression. Nice one. That's why I made the thread...to share.

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    Contributing User Faraˇ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Hi all,

    Some of my favourite words are:

    ن شاءالله (Inshallah) or If God wills; in Arabic. Fom this Arabic interjection have born the Portuguese "Oxalß" and the Spanish "Ojalß".

    Saudades (To miss) a Portuguese noun used to express our feelings ("nostalgia") when we miss someone badly.

    I will try to post other words in different languages...

    Greets,

    Faraˇ

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    Senior Member mem286's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Faraˇ
    Saudades (To miss) a Portuguese noun used to express our feelings ("nostalgia") when we miss someone badly.
    It's one of my favourites too Faraˇ!
    Saudade...

    In English I love the "tangerine" (the fruit). The question is: Why do you think some words appeal to you and some don't?

    Regards to you all!

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    Contributing User Faraˇ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite words in other languages

    Hi mem286,

    To answer your question, I think that we like certain words because they can release good feelings, nice memories in us or because they are tasty and sweet like a "tangerina" . The ones which we don't like much may be the opposite: they don't release any good feelings at all.

    Some few words to add to the list:

    In English: "Brotherhood", "Marvelous", "Knowledge"...
    In French: I like all the "prises" and "mises" combinations . Sometimes, while I'm translating into my native language "ils me cassent bien la tête"... Such as "mise en état", "mise en examen", "prise de bec", "prise à partie"...
    In Spanish: "Hermano", "Corazón", "Mirar"...
    In Arabic: معلش (Ma'lesh) which means "never mind"; and أهلا وسهلا (Ahlan Wa Sahlan) which means "Welcome"...
    In Portuguese: "Mágico", "Mar", "Amizade"...

    And that's it, I'm out of words . Who's next?

    Greets,


    Faraó





    PS: Yes, it is a very nice word, I think Portuguese feel it in a different way.
    Last edited by Faraˇ; 11-09-2008 at 05:17 PM.

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