Ever explored words in other languages that are so beautiful and exquisite as their cuisine? Some beautiful words are exclusive to the language they originate, blended perfectly with its culture. They simply don’t exist in other languages. A Word for everything, when you were inspired, when you were tired, when you wanted to be wasted. When you are absolutely sure of your feelings but at a loss of beautiful words.
Apparently, there are several untranslatable words, unique ones, from some far less spoken languages. These words beautifully narrate some intricate or sometimes silly feelings.
I have listed here some of my favourite and most celebrated, popular, and fun-sounding words that you may enjoy and take even one home, before you finish this article.
When you passionately get into a zone while doing a work, which when completed reflects a part of you. Isn’t it beautiful to have a word for this? Why is Greek always wise. Meraki!
For instance, whenever I begin an article, I sit intending to make a rough draft or annotate key points from my thoughts. However, I end up writing it more elaborately than I had conceived in my mind. That moment is my Meraki!
Trust me, you are ALWAYS proud of what you deliver, after a Meraki.
Ukiyo simply means living in the present. It is all about enjoying the moment unbothered by the ongoing life’s struggles. While it is extremely difficult to attain such a state of mind, it is not impossible.
It is a conscious choice you will have to make, to detach yourself from the challenges you are fighting at that moment. Even if for a moment, Ukiyo will make you feel light. Perhaps why the context, when it literally translates to “the floating world”.
The sound of the word or perhaps all Spanish words is personal since it has the flavour of the culture that it represents. Engentado is when you wish to be alone, feeling people out for a while.
You may argue to substitute it with solitude. It completely differs from the state of being alone. It is an act you chose for the very reason, that you were overwhelmed by a company or the mere presence of people.
So if you totally intend to Engentado, I completely agree. I know, I just had to frame this sentence for the rhyme. Well, you can’t blame me for enjoying Ukiyo.
Now this could be all of us. I’m pretty much confident when I say this since you are an avid reader. You wouldn’t have been pulled into reading this article otherwise.
Tsundoku is the act of buying a new or old book and save it carefully for reading, along with plenty of other books that you have treasured for future reading on your bookshelf.
I am tempted to quote Mark Twain’s definition of Classic – a book that people praise and don’t read. No offense.
This, in today’s terms, would apply to all Digital versions of books that are saved, bookmarked or PDF downloaded into your tabs or phones that you are always on, but seldom tap.
If you are yearning to break the monotony of your daily routine and explore life, then you are probably Datsuzoku’ing. Well, the gerund-ing is an insult; the word is a marvel.
Rhyming to Tsundoku, this word, Datsuzoku means nothing about books. But can be related, if you wish to. I’ll say how.
As a reader, we all sometimes get immersed into this world of fantasy or reality oblivious to your daily life and surroundings. Thats Datsuzoku. Pity those who don’t habit reading and are constantly wishing to escape the routine. Datsuzoku is what they are looking for.
UBUNTU (Nguni, South Africa)
Every belief preaches love, peace, and kindness. But, discuss or rather debate about a belief.
Ubuntu is a belief that is completely defined by compassion and kindness towards others. Which should ideally be the base for all beliefs.
Imagine, if you Ubuntu’ed every single one you met, known, unknown, own, simple, special, different, real, and imaginary with such compassionate love and kindness, the world would be different. Good different. Let’s start with the word and then the world. Shall we?
In the age of instant gratification over the silliest of the things online, this simply is the word to remind people of a superior art that we all seldom practice. Patience.
You are quick to judge, quick to help, and even quicker to be betrayed. Nunchi, while not exactly is being patient, is a talent to truly assess the mood of others, read the situation and react appropriately.
SHIKATA GA NAI (Japanese)
Hopeless, Irreparable are going to be the first words that might pop up in your mind, when I say this literally means, “It cannot be helped”. But that’s what it is.
Shikata Ga Nai describes the feeling of graciously accepting things that are far beyond help and that you have no control, none whatsoever, over it.
Hopeless or irreparable could only describe the terrible or unpleasant situation you are in. But, it isn’t helplessness, but the wise maturity of accepting the defeat in a battle that is simply not yours. You have to move on, simply Shikata Ga Nai.
As celebratory and fun as it sounds, the word actually means an unexplainable melancholic longing for your homeland.
Homesickness would make you want to go home, but this is about feeling nostalgic about your homeland. Sometimes, it is a longing that cannot really point out what you are longing for or what would actually calm it down.
The famous Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov is quite proud of this word when he explained the beauty of it that changes at different levels when one experiences it. Isn’t that splendid? I do really Toska!
Neither identical nor a born twin, these words married quite later than they were born to bring in the least celebrated meaning of life. Find beauty in the simplest of things, even if they are short-lived, incomplete, or broken.
The popular art of Kintsugi is more related to the word, where broken pottery is repaired with the clay of powdered gold. These mended marks become the beautiful wrinkles that the wise gather their lifetime filled with memories.
The uniqueness of the word is how these perfectly rhyming words, never meant to be together, become a word of wise united. They made you realise the value of the transience that might otherwise be fading right before naked eyes.
Here are some more interesting words that describe the most common personality of the human tribe on the planet.
Now, this is fun. I never thought there is a term that I would read sheepishly, of course, other than the secret comics in my closet. Not safe for my age! Duh! How can one be too old for Calvin & Hobbes?
Are you ever late for something, despite your perfectly lost planned time? I’m talking about you, who think you always have more time than you actually have. You are more like Time Optimists. Like, if there is a term for it. Not in English, but there is in Swedish. Tada! You are a Tidsoptimist.
Remember the night before your exam, when you binge-watched an entire series about an alien falling in love with a human. You earned the title, fair and square, that same night.
I kept repeating the word several times, while I was writing this article. Perhaps it’s the sound or the rhyme to Ninja Hatori.
I guess the credit goes to the Japanese for inventing most of the words here, just like their other popular inventions. Hikikomori describes a person, especially young, who isolates himself from the society, obsessed with time eating digital gadgets like TV, Video Games, and Internet.
Now as a perk for reading this long, let me lighten or perhaps enlighten you with a simple, yet beautiful word.
One of my favourite go to place for my Engentado (if you are looking clueless, you were not really concentrating). The word might actually mean moonbeam, but this one is particularly the reflection over the ocean that makes a glimmering silver carpet over it.
I have rather, a million times, wished to walk over that carpet, feeling the air that would unapologetically push me down the memory lane. But all I get to do is gaze from the shore with strangers too busy to appreciate the beauty. Invariably, I do have a moment here and there with it.
Add more if you wish…
I guess i made some good efforts to carefully select a few of many such lovely words, that surprisingly are in line with the bunch of emotions that we at a point in our life, too naïve to name.
So, if you have already savoured such fine words, do feel free to share with me, we could do a season 2 of the article. I am on it already.
Having celebrated all those beautiful untranslatable words, Its absolutely ok, to go mute for certain close-to-heart emotions. There is no harm or guilt if you ever feel incomplete, broken, or challenging to move forward.
Life is all about those changes, let us make phew!