Words that don't have translations in English

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,491
Wirral
How does that work, do they just have less adjectives? Like obviously there's different conditions that snow can have, and dates it can fall. But 300?
I’ve no way of backing this up but I’ve read that this zillions of words for snow is a bit of a myth.
 

janusdviveidis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
2,008
Lithuania
Lithuanian language has insane amount of words describing different kind of horses, a lot of them probably don't have exact English translation.
 
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Jan 2017
1,309
Durham
Kindergarden is a loanword from German also. Though i have no idea why you dont use children's garden instead or something similar.
I think Kindergarten is used in the United States, but it isn't used here. Possibly because the United States has a large population of German descendants?

In England, it's simply: junior school, primary school, secondary school, college, university.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,050
Bulgaria
Yes, not only Inuits, but other indigenous people from northern Canada, Greenland and Alaska. As was pointed out Sami people from the very north of Europe also. I thought that this term is offensive and that's why i singled out the Inuits. I guess it is not.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,050
Bulgaria
I think Kindergarten is used in the United States, but it isn't used here. Possibly because the United States has a large population of German descendants?

In England, it's simply: junior school, primary school, secondary school, college, university.
Thanks for information. I automatically assumed that this kind of terminology is the same in all English speaking countries. My mistake.

THE BRITISH EDUCATION SYSTEM
 

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
In every ski lodge in the U.S. you hear different kinds of snow discussed. i.e. Powder, crud, crust, slush, and ice. There are probably more terms but I wouldn´t know, the skiing in Costa Rica sucks. :lol:
 
Mar 2017
878
Colorado
Native 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"?
 
May 2016
974
Nabataea
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"?
I can't help you on that, but I could help you with the original texts of al-Mas'udi in his Murug ad-Dhahab if you like. He speaks highly of Qalabatra (Cleopatra), he says that she reigned for 22 years, and described her as "the wise, the philosopher who is close to scholars". He also say that she authored many profiled works in medicine, most of it known is to physicians (not sure about the merit of the claim).
 
Apr 2017
138
Bayreuth
Hey everybody!

To be more specific than the title, your favorite words that describe a feeling, or action we have no direct translation for in English. These can be from currently used languages or dead ones throughout history. (...)
There;s no real English equivalent to the word schadenfreude, which is why we use the German. Or zeitgeist.
My fave foreign word in English is zeitgeist, because I never thought about the meaning of the word before, as you can toss any substantives in German together and they automatically mean something, so we do not think about the actual meaning of words and I think it is a wonderful word.


What you do not have is:

Sturmfrei – (free to assault) – means a place where you can do whatever you desire (mostly if mum and dad are out of the house over a weekend).
Comes from the military (German is a highly militarized language, because it is a lingua franca and in the military you require a common language, this is why we use many military expressions in high German) – if the defenses are down you can attack: Ready to attack = sturmfrei.

What you do have:

Wanderlust – shows something wonderful of the English mentality – while it is a German word – the translation is Fernweh.
Now wander + lust (in the meaning of desire) is something positive.
Fern + weh means agony/or pain of longing for something in a distance.
It is the same thing – but in English you use the positive word instead of the negative the Germans are using.

sehnsucht - you have as well and mensch, doppelganger, poltergeist, Hamburger^^ and - Rucksack – because for miracle reasons was a bag-sack not cool enough for the English ear. For a sack - we use a German word - only a bag is English.^^


Vice versa in German we do not have friendly fire.
We have that term, but because our military infrastructure is different – we never developed something in the spoken language and go with the English words.
The difference is in German^^(yeah – it is historian slang for that contra Roman) military/warfare – the responsibility is with the smallest unit. We do not call for permission to engage. It is up to you and your responsibility to act accordingly to your intel. It is like special forces operate and after WWII other countries (like France or Israel) took it over as well. Only in the US and Britain it is now slowly coming in, that is why most are not familiar with that in the English-speaking world.
And as an outcome of that is – that we did not develop an expression. So cursing is the right choice, when you can call out it in English: Friendly fire.
If you read WWII accounts, when this happens – this is why the German guys are always cursing at each other. It is not because they are cool or tough (that impression sometimes rise for a foreign audience) that is because they have to express themselves like that to get the point across.

And in our local tongue – we have a funny expression, that is 'English'.
English means – if you build something and it is not 100% done correctly, but good enough to live with it.
So the Pisa tower f.e. is English. So if people say: It is English. It is meant that it is not build right.
What does not mean it has to be negative. If you build something yourself – and it is not 100% - you can say: It is English, it is pretty. And mean by that - it is unique and good enough for the purpose it has to serve.
That is because in our local language the words are not of importance.
So we use the same words – even to express the opposite. So if we say: Good that you are with us. We mean the opposite: You are or said something useless.
So we can use the term English in all possible ways, but it is to 99% related to building/crafting etc.


Concerning the snow amount of words.
They count in creations of base words. They do have more base-words for snow. This is why it looks strange for the foreign listener. All people of the north had more base-words – but we just dropped them, because of development and simplified them. They still have to live in such environments, that is why they keep them longer alive.
If I say: In winter falls snow – this is good enough for the average person to understand that. To a good amount has snow only a minor impact on your life (if you live in a city f.e.).

You do not have to seperate between ice, hail, rough (in older German that is a winter related term and I am sure similar existed in English). They still do this by the words. So they have different words for what snow is falling, but all these creations are based on roots. In Finish they have around 10 base words and created out of these base-words – all snow-related words, so that you end up with such numbers.