The Swedish language has several such words, perhaps most famous among them being "lagom". It is most often translated as "just enough", "in moderation", "average" or "sufficient", but none of these words are quite right as they suggest that something is lacking. "Lagom" means that something is appropriately sufficient and just the right amount, lacking nothing but also not achieving perfection. Not too much, not too little. For us Swedes, it is often seen as the ideal state of things, from food (most would prefer "lagom" seasoning, and nothing too spicy nor mild, or a "lagom" amount of food so they are no longer hungry but also do not feel too full) to one's personal finances (most prefer having a "lagom" amount of money, meaning enough to pay for their needs with a bit to spare, but no excessive wealth nor any degree of poverty).
Yes, close enoughNative French speaker please?
This is a French translation of the Arab historian Al Mas'Udi. He's talking about Cleopatra.
"C'était une princesse versée dans les sciences, adonnée à l'étude la philosophie et admettant les savants dans son intimité. "
I'm having trouble with the word "intimité".
I believe the notion is that she discusses philosophy with scholars in a superior position. She "admits them into her inner circle". Something along those lines. There's another document in Greek where Cleopatra is quizzing philosophers on alchemy, so that's consistent.
Is that really a fair translation/use of "intimité"?
That's saudade. You have to be able to speak Portuguese to understand those lyrics. No one else could possibly relate. They only managed to reach those deep feelings, because their guitarist is from Portugal. You can see how that entire wiki is written by people who desperately want to prove a point. Listen to the songs they reference, look at the poems, it's nothing that can't be translated with "yearning", "longing" or "nostalgia", depending on the context. All those feelings can also be expressed in a deep and poetic manner.The rock band Extreme has a Portuguese guitarist Nuno Bettencourt; the influence of his heritage can be seen in the band's album Saudades de Rock. During recording, the mission statement was to bring back musicality to the medium. "Nancy Spain", a song by Barney Rush, made famous by an adaptation by Christy Moore, is another example of the use of saudade in contemporary Irish music, the chorus of which is:
"No matter where I wander I'm still haunted by your name
The portrait of your beauty stays the same
Standing by the ocean wondering where you've gone
If you'll return again
Where is the ring I gave to Nancy Spain?"
That's just nostalgia. Nostalgia can be very sad.The Good Son, a 1990 album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was heavily informed by Cave's mental state at the time, which he has described as saudade. He told journalist Chris Bohn: "When I explained to someone that what I wanted to write about was the memory of things that I thought were lost for me, I was told that the Portuguese word for this feeling was saudade. It's not nostalgia but something sadder."
I'm not trying to devalue it. The Romanian word "dor" has a huge place in our culture, but it's not unique, nor untranslatable. Google translate won't change its place in Romanian culture, because it says it means: "longing".As a fluent Portuguese speaker, I agree 100% with what you said. Longing, yearning and even nostalgia convey perfectly the meaning of saudade. The only reason some lusophones think it's unstranslatable is because of the way they express the feeling of missing someone in their language. While in English (I miss you), Spanish (te extraño) and French (tu me manques) this feeling is expressed with a verb, in Portuguese (estou com saudades) it is expressed with a noun. That's also why saudade feels more powerful, because being a noun, it expresses a whole concept and it's one of the reasons why it's such an important word in genres such as Brazilian bossa nova and Portuguese fados. That being said, it's only deep and special from a Portuguese speaker's point of view.
They haven't proved it's hard to translate in full. The wiki starts with: "a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing", instead of just saying "nostalgia" or "longing". One of the first examples of equivalent words is "Sehnsucht". Its wiki immediately says it means: "longing", "pining", "yearning", or "craving".Despite being hard to translate in full, saudade has equivalent words in other cultures, and is often related to music styles expressing this feeling such as the blues for African-Americans, Sehnsucht in German, dor in Romania, Tizita in Ethiopia, Hiraeth in Welsh, or Assouf for the Tuareg people, appocundria in Neapolitan. In Slovak, the word is clivota or cnenie, and in Czech, the word is stesk. In Turkish, the word Hasret meaning longing, yearning or nostalgia has similar connotations.
The similar melancholic music style is known in Bosnia-Herzegovina as sevdah (ultimately from Arabic سَوْدَاء sawdā' : 'black [bile]', translation of the Greek µέλαινα χολή, mélaina cholē from which the term melancholy is derived).
No citations for three entire paragraphs (the entire "Related words" section of the wiki).Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that claims no direct translation in English. In Portuguese, "Tenho saudades tuas" (European Portuguese) or "Estou com saudades de você" (Brazilian Portuguese), translates as "I have (feel) saudade of you" meaning "I miss you", but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have saudade of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future. For example, one can have "saudade" towards part of the relationship or emotions once experienced for/with someone, though the person in question is still part of one's life, as in "Tenho saudade do que fomos" (I feel "saudade" of the way we were). Another example can illustrate this use of the word saudade: "Que saudade!" indicating a general feeling of longing, whereby the object of longing can be a general and undefined entity/occasion/person/group/period etc. This feeling of longing can be accompanied or better described by an abstract will to be where the object of longing is.
A song I thought about while writing this post:Every foreigner who served in the militia spent his first few weeks in learning to love the Spaniards and in being exasperated by certain of their characteristics. In the front line my own exasperation sometimes reached the pitch of fury. The Spaniards are good at many things, but not at making war. All foreigners alike are appalled by their inefficiency, above all their maddening unpunctuality. The one Spanish word that no foreigner can avoid learning is mañana — ‘tomorrow’ (literally, ‘the morning’). Whenever it is conceivably possible, the business of today is put off until mañana. This is so notorious that even the Spaniards themselves make jokes about it. In Spain nothing, from a meal to a battle, ever happens at the appointed time. As a general rule things happen too late, but just occasionally — just so that you shan't even be able to depend on their happening late — they happen too early. A train which is due to leave at eight will normally leave at any time between nine and ten, but perhaps once a week, thanks to some private whim of the engine-driver, it leaves at half past seven. Such things can be a little trying. In theory I rather admire the Spaniards for not sharing our Northern time-neurosis; but unfortunately I share it myself.
Doesn't it mean stingy? That's how I interpret it when I hear it, maybe with the added nuance of being mean while being stingy.I encountered a Scottish word, mingy, that has no specific English equivalent. One always winds up explaining what it means rather than being able to translate directly.
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