Have you ever had a feeling that you just couldn’t put to words? It’s hard to describe something when you can’t even name it, isn’t it? Well, chances are that somewhere, some language has the exact word you need. In the series Untranslatable Universals we delve into words from many a different language that don’t exist in others, yet convey universal human emotions. Let’s begin!
kilig (n.) Tagalog – Rush of exhilaration caused by a romantic happenstance, such as making eye contact or talking to one’s crush.
Schwellenangst (n.) German – Fear of embarking something new or crossing a threshold.
ελευθερομανία [eleutheromania] (n.) Greek – Intense desire for or obsession with freedom.
物の哀れ [mono no aware] (n.) Japanese – Bittersweet feeling for appreciation towards beautiful things pared with a deep wistfulness for their ephemeral nature. ‘Mono no aware’ literally means ‘pathos of things’, a sensitivity and sorrow towards the ephemeral.
abbiocco (n.) Italian – Drowsy sensation following a large or hearty meal that often leads to falling asleep.
That’s it for now. Do you know more untranslatable universals? Let me know in the comments!