25 words that don't exist in English

Interesting article to show words that simply don't exist in English. I love, of course, "Schadenfreude", but the one that takes the piss is this one (number two in the list):

Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude.


Fantastic! Which one is your favourite one? (By the way, "duende", as expressed in the list, is wrong - I don't know where he takes that definition from... "duende" in Spanish means gnome, or poltergeist, or little magic man).

4 comments:

SergioS said...

If you read the definitions, you will probably agree that all the ideas exist across languages/cultures. Aparently what happens is that when you come across a term that describes a feeling or idea you have, but for which your language you does not have a word, often you appropriate the word - shadenfraude being a good example. Stephen Pinker in his (awesome) book The Language Instinct covers this concept extensivelly.

Massa said...

Fantastic comment, SergioS - many thanks!

Valeria said...

Oh, if I had a tatoo for each "arigata-meiwaku" I have been put through, I'd be some sort of Dennis Rodman lookalike...Cool post, you guys!

sid branca said...

the definition of duende given is the one used in the art world, it's from Federico Garcia Lorca. take a look at "Play and Theory of the Duende" if you're interested.