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Top Ten: Lovely Untranslatable Words
Spanish: The mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person. “She stood in the gallery and gazed at the magnificent colours surrounding her, feeling an unexpected rush of duende well up inside of her.”
Portuguese: The feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost. “Wiping the dust off of the old photographs, I was overcome by a feeling of saudade for the good times I had left behind.”
Georgian: To be perfectly blunt, the word means ‘whoopsies… I accidentally ate the whole thing’. “He wiped his mouth and let out an enormous belch, to the groan of his mother, who muttered something about his tendency to constantly shemomedjamo.”
Tierra del Fuego: The look shared by two people when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do. (See parts 1 and 2 of Hellos and Goodbyes for perfect examples of mamihlapinatapai!)
Aragonese: The transporting suspension of disbelief found in good storytelling. “Topaz frantically pounded away at her keyboard, weaving a tale of frozen magic that she hoped would transport her readers into a state of goya.”
Spanish: The period between ‘the dead of night’ and ‘early morning’. “I’ve found that my best time for writing occurs during madrugada; however, as a consequence I’m often exhausted the day after.”
Norwegian: The euphoria you feel when you first fall in love. “They rolled their eyes at the girl, gazing after him with forelsket sparkling in her eyes as he walked slowly and unwillingly away from her.”
8. L’esprit de l’escalier
French: The act of thinking of a clever comeback when it’s too late to deliver it. “He always wished people who insulted him could give him a few hours’ notice; however, it was unfortunately not to be, and l’esprit de l’escalier occurred much too often for his taste.”
Russian: Someone who asks way too many questions for their own good. “She rolled her eyes at her kid sister’s seemingly endless barrage of questions, mumbling something under her breath about an annoying pochemuchka.”
Swedish: The glimmering, road-like reflection the moon creates on water. “Standing on the beach, I gazed out at the infinite notion and was overcome by a feeling of wanderlust, wishing I could ride away on the mångata cast by moonlight.”
from Topaz Winter's Blog: