Sunday, April 10, 2011

"words that don't exist in english"

Via my friend Chris, via here:

L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated, it means “the spirt of the staircase.”

Waldeinsamkeit: (German) The feeling of being alone in the woods.

Meraki: (Greek) Doing something with soul, creativity or love.

Forelskelt: (Norwegian) The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

Gheegle: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.

Pochemuchka: (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions.

Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.

Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.

Ilunga: (Tshiluba, Congo) A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.

I am told that the Romanian word dor is unlike any other word, is very specifically Romanian. From what I understand, the context is a cultural one, related to Mihai Eminescu. It means something to do with missing someone, as in mi-e dor de tine, I miss you. But I’m told that doesn’t really communicate the depth of the word. I don’t know what the roots of this word are (it looks Latin but I’m not sure/haven’t checked), but it makes me think of longing, deep longing. Maybe there’s a connection between dorinta (desire) and dor? And maybe doare (it hurts), as in I ache for you. (I’d say ‘I miss you so much it hurts’ but that just sounds too cheesy to be beautiful the way ‘I ache for you’ is).

Mi-e dor de tine. I just looked it up and it turns out that dor does translate as longing. Well there you go. I long for you, I ache for you. Beautiful language, Romanian.

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