Words that don't have translations in English

LatinoEuropa

Ad Honorem
Oct 2015
5,222
Matosinhos Portugal
Thing is there apparently was no equivalent word in English so they used the Dutch with an English pronunciation.

Same with words like apartheid.


apartheid.There is no translation in portuguese

But it means separation in portuguese



apartheid - separtion - Separação

Philips does not have a Portuguese translation, similar to Silva which also has no translation for any language.
It's normal, every country in the world has words that have no translation.
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
/..There's a Welsh word [hiraeth[/I][ that some say falls into that category. It's a longing or feeling of loss thing but with a bit of poignancy thrown in.
Is "hiraeth" akin to "hearth"?

One might well conflate the hearth and fire wood with poinancy(compared to the thermostat and gas furnace, you see).
 
Nov 2013
586
Kingdom of Sweden
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).
 

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
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).
Not to hot, not to cold., just right a/k/a The Goldielocks Effect. :)
 
Jul 2018
58
Gaa-waabaabiganikaag
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).
Sort of like the word mediocre, its could sync up to that definition in a lot of ways, but is used pejoratively especially when referring to a person.

Could "lagom" also be used insultingly? Like saying someone possessed a lagom amount of intelligence, or they had an attractiveness level that was lagom. Or would you use a different word entirely?
 
Last edited:

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,578
Netherlands
Strangely enough there is also no translation of the Dutch word “gezelligheid” or its derivations. Closest I can come up with is enjoyment of a social occasion with chitchat , but even that doesn’t cover it entirely.

Vice versa I don’t know any translation of the American word ”joiner” used to describe a person that can easily join in on any group.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,053
Bulgaria
Strangely enough there is also no translation of the Dutch word “gezelligheid” or its derivations. Closest I can come up with is enjoyment of a social occasion with chitchat , but even that doesn’t cover it entirely.

Vice versa I don’t know any translation of the American word ”joiner” used to describe a person that can easily join in on any group.
I know a bit of German and 'gesellig' adjective looks similar to yours. 'Die Geselligkeit' translates as 'conviviality'/ latin origin via old french i presume/ the latin verb is 'convivere' - to coexst. Most probably old English had similar word.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,578
Netherlands
I know a bit of German and 'gesellig' adjective looks similar to yours. 'Die Geselligkeit' translates as 'conviviality'/ latin origin via old french i presume/ the latin verb is 'convivere' - to coexst. Most probably old English had similar word.
In German that is indeed the closest translation, though I havent heard it used much there, maybe because they are not as gezellig as us.


I think the word derives from the guilds in the middle ages, where its members were called Gezellen.