Untranslatable Words

Discussion in 'the Entertainment Spot' started by xPedro, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. xPedro

    xPedro Active Member

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    In portuguese e have SAUDADE, that is a noun for the feeling of missing someone, then in portuguese we don't say "I miss you", we say "I feel SAUDADE of you" ^_^

    In english I only can remember FIERCE :P

    So guys, is there any other words in english that you can't translate to your language, or words in your language that you can translate to english? If there is describe to us! ^_^
     
  2. papa_levante

    papa_levante oh! darling

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    Fierce, really? :lol: That's interesting. (In Spanish, it's fiero. Is it not similar to that in Portuguese?)

    The English language has A LOT of words, so I don't doubt there is word for this story:

    My cousin who was studying English from Korea in America asked me if we had a word for people walking next to each other not holding hands. :huh: I'm sure we have a word, but I don't know what it is.

    Maybe that isn't the best example of "untranslatable" but I do know that translating from Spanish to English and vice versa gets fuzzy sometimes. :doh:
     
  3. MulletProof

    MulletProof Well-Known Member

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    ^ it's feroz in Spanish.
    It can be used in the same context as in English but it sounds just as silly.
    It's also used to intensify phrases (unlike 'fierce'), for instance: tengo un hambre feroz/I'm ("fiercely") hungry.
    I tend to hear it mostly in a sarcastic tone, ex. driver suddenly accelerates and cuts into your lane: "uy que feroz"/"that was fierce".


    ..I love the word saudade ever since ckgirlbr explained it to me.. and I like how it's pronounced, even if it's hard to get it right!
     
    #3 MulletProof, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited by moderator Aviar: Nov 19, 2010
  4. *Bianca*

    *Bianca* Active Member

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    re: saudade... then how would you express in portugese the noun for deeply longing or yearning for someone?

    or could it's english equivalent also be to pine for someone/something?

    wikipedia

    sorry, I'm just trying to understand the word and why it is untranslatable to English.
     
  5. LeBonChic

    LeBonChic New Member

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    How do you guys define "sans" ? I came across the word in an article on a Resort coll on Style.com and still can't understand it
     
  6. Psylocke

    Psylocke Active Member

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    ^I think that might be just the French word "sans" thrown in here which means "without".
     
  7. nijuyanah

    nijuyanah Active Member

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    Ah, what a nice thread ^_^

    As far as I know the german words WANDERLUST and BLITZKRIEG don't have a real translation (at least not in english). Well, of course you can describe them but there is no real synonym.
     
  8. papa_levante

    papa_levante oh! darling

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    Yup, "sans" just means witout. I doubt I am using it correctly, but I always say, "I'll have #13 sans the meat." :P
     
  9. xPedro

    xPedro Active Member

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    If yearning is what you feel like when you miss something and you stay with the memory of that thing for a period of time (like when someone dies and you keep remembering things about that person) you could use the expression to feel saudade too.

    The English Wikipedia has an interesting article about the word saudade (I'm copying the parts that I think are the most interesting, not the whole article)

    wikipedia
     
  10. xPedro

    xPedro Active Member

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    And in the Portuguese Wikipedia there is a curiosity about the word saudade that says that english translators classified the saudade as the 7th most difficult word to tranlsate.
    So I was curious and I searched the most difficult words to translate and I found this:

    altalang

    (I had totally forgotten the word cafuné!)
     
  11. papa_levante

    papa_levante oh! darling

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    Are we talking that untranslatable means there is no English equivalent to it?
     
  12. xPedro

    xPedro Active Member

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    ^ I didn't think of that when I created the thread, but I'm afraid because of that TFS rule that says that we have to talk in english on the threads the words should be untranslatable to English...
     
  13. MulletProof

    MulletProof Well-Known Member

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    ^ the rule was implemented for the exchanges/discussions/fights/remarks in other languages, which can be problematic and obviously rude to those that don't speak the language .. this thread, next to the Teach me your language thread, are far from that as it's all usually accompanied by a translation, or an attempt to it like in this case :P..

    So..I'm now fully confused on saudade, I mean, in the article you posted it says you can feel saudade for something in the future and that may or may not even exist (be realistic??).. I think I've never felt saudade for anything. :lol::ninja:
     
  14. xPedro

    xPedro Active Member

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    :lol::lol::lol:
    The definition of saudade is very tricky indeed (sometimes even I can't understand it) :D
    I think that what he said about feeling saudade for something in the future and that it can or cannot exist is more connected to the lyrical "side" of the word (I hope I didn't make you more confused :lol:)
     
    #14 xPedro, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited by moderator hailie: Nov 27, 2010

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