20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#21  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 29, 2011 11:00 am

Regina wrote:Well, I may be wrong, but I've always felt gloat is very close to what Schadenfreude describes.
And of course, there is gesellig, just a minor difference to the Dutch version.
In Dutch, I like lekker, because it's so different from the German lecker, except for the Kölsch lecker. A lecker Mädsche is a pretty, personable girl.


"Een lekker meid" is Dutch means sexy and very inviting to have sex with.

Where are you from Regina? SA
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#22  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 11:10 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:
Regina wrote:Well, I may be wrong, but I've always felt gloat is very close to what Schadenfreude describes.
And of course, there is gesellig, just a minor difference to the Dutch version.
In Dutch, I like lekker, because it's so different from the German lecker, except for the Kölsch lecker. A lecker Mädsche is a pretty, personable girl.


"Een lekker meid" is Dutch means sexy and very inviting to have sex with.

Where are you from Regina? SA

So our Cologne brethren use lecker like the Dutch, when it comes to girls.
I'm one of your next-door neighbours, you can practically see me wave at you. :lol:
I'm about 60km from the Dutch border on the German side and I'm deeply in love with Zeeuws Vlaanderen.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#23  Postby JoeB » Oct 29, 2011 11:52 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:

We also have 'skadefryd', which is directly translated from the German 'schadenfreude'. It literally translates to damage/injury (skade) joy/elation (fryd).



In Dutch schadevreugde.

Leedvermaak: the laughs you get when a skater cracks his nuts on the railgrind :evilgrin:
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#24  Postby JoeB » Oct 29, 2011 11:57 am

Regina wrote:Well, I may be wrong, but I've always felt gloat is very close to what Schadenfreude describes.

Yeah, gloat is similar, but it's only used when the 'gloating person' gets some sort of advantage from the situation afaik.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#25  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 29, 2011 12:14 pm

Ok buurman.:lol:

It is just dat "gesellig" is Afrikaans.

It is noce down there. Lovely walking.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#26  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 12:32 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Ok buurman.:lol:

It is just dat "gesellig" is Afrikaans.

It is noce down there. Lovely walking.

So the Boers speak German? :mrgreen:
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#27  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 29, 2011 12:53 pm

Probably a mixture but there are no "z"'s in Afrikaans except at the beginning of words.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#28  Postby LIFE » Oct 29, 2011 7:21 pm

Meaning of Liff, anyone?
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#29  Postby Lion IRC » Oct 29, 2011 7:57 pm

There's no such thing as an untranslatable word Cookiejon. Not even for piranhas

In order to qualify as such...

You wouldnt be able to explain what it meant.
You wouldnt be able to discuss it.
You couldnt draw a picture of it,
You wouldnt be able to teach your child such a word as part of its growing vocabulary.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#30  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 7:57 pm

Can we ban awesome on this forum?
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#31  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 7:59 pm

Lion IRC wrote:There's no such thing as an untransalatable word Cookiejon. Not even for piranhas

In order to qualify as such...

You wouldnt be able to explain what it meant.
You wouldnt be able to discuss it.
You couldnt draw a picture of it,
You wouldnt be able to teach your child such a word as part of its growing vocabulary.

Explain is not translate.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#32  Postby Lion IRC » Oct 29, 2011 8:12 pm

we are talking about translation as a method of giving meaning to a word you dont recognise.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#33  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 8:18 pm

Lion IRC wrote:we are talking about translation as a method of giving meaning to a word you dont recognise.

No, we are talking about words that cannot be translated into English, or other languages. Read the OP and Katja's post.
Also, it works both ways, of course. There are English words that cannot be translated.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#34  Postby Lion IRC » Oct 29, 2011 8:28 pm

Suppose someone (person A) asserts that "xpinunculrific" is a word which cannot be translated.

And someone else says...."I know that word and it can be translated".

Now, person A says... "I disagree, you cannot translate that word."

On what basis can person A claim that the word is untranslatable?
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#35  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 8:33 pm

Lion IRC wrote:Suppose someone (person A) asserts that "xpinunculrific" is a word which cannot be translated.

And someone else says...."I know that word and it can be translated".

Now, person A says... "I disagree, you cannot translate that word."

On what basis can person A claim that the word is untranslatable?


You are in the wrong thread. We aren't discussing the validity of claims.
We are discussing what in practice and for decades, if not centuries has posed problems for translators and multilingual speakers in general.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#36  Postby Lion IRC » Oct 29, 2011 8:50 pm

Regina wrote:
Lion IRC wrote:we are talking about translation as a method of giving meaning to a word you dont recognise.

No, we are talking about words that cannot be translated into English, or other languages. Read the OP and Katja's post.
Also, it works both ways, of course. There are English words that cannot be translated.



Nope - wrong! It doesnt work "both ways". It doesnt even work "one way".

Take two infants.
Raise one of them in a home where that (supposedly) untranslatable English word is used.
Raise the other in the house next door where that word is never used.

Now suppose the two children meet for the first time one day out front of their homes. What will happen when the first child uses that word? The same thing that humans have been doing since we developed language - they will communicate meaning.

"Untranslatable word" is an oxymoron. A word you cant translate is not a word.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#37  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 8:54 pm

You are in the wrong thread.
Homework for you: There's an unassuming, but lovely English verb: cherish. Try to translate it into German. Good luck.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#38  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 29, 2011 9:02 pm

I'm not at all sure that speakers of any particular language are privy to any completely unique ideas. It may be perfectly impossible to directly translate on a one for one word basis. But, if my first premise is true, then what could exist to prevent the expression of any idea from one language to another?
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#39  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 9:11 pm

The_Metatron wrote:I'm not at all sure that speakers of any particular language are privy to any completely unique ideas. It may be perfectly impossible to directly translate on a one for one word basis. But, if my first premise is true, then what could exist to prevent the expression of any idea from one language to another?

Hint: cherish can be translated into at least 17 different German words. There is no one single German word that covers all its meanings.
It's not so much about unique ideas, but shades of meanings, connotations, idiomatic use, etc.
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Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#40  Postby Wiðercora » Oct 29, 2011 10:53 pm

Varangian wrote:
11. Schadenfreude

In Swedish, that would be "skadeglädje", which captures the essence of the word exactly. It is a straight translation of the German word.


The English word is Epicaricacy. Rare, and probably never actually used, but there it is. Stolen from Greek. The English language is such a whore - it sleeps around with other langauges and has all these bastard offspring words.
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