20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

Non-English threads go here. For linguistics please click here instead.

Moderator: Senior Moderators

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#41  Postby LIFE » Oct 29, 2011 11:02 pm

Wiðercora wrote:
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.


Something that's actually far worse is Germans using English sounding words and ever apply German grammar to them.

I give you an example:

"Handy" is the German word for a cell phone. We do have a perfectly fine word for a mobile phone already but nobody uses it, instead, as it seems quite trendy to bastardize English words.

"Gedownloaded" means "something has been downloaded", see that? It's even declined :smug:
This although we have a perfectly fine word for this in German already but again...nobody uses it :whine:

I can see how our language is getting mixed up more and more each day.
"If you think education is expensive, try the cost of ignorance" - Derek Bok
"Words that make questions may not be questions at all" - Neil deGrasse Tyson
User avatar
LIFE
Site Admin
 
Name: Bernhard
Posts: 7152
Age: 40
Male

Country: Germany
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#42  Postby Regina » Oct 29, 2011 11:11 pm

Ah, don't get me started on that shit... :nono:
There's a manicure salon round the corner: Hands and Feet's :lol:
No, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore,
They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before.

Kinky Friedman
Regina
 
Posts: 15627
Male

Djibouti (dj)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#43  Postby ConnyRaSk » Oct 29, 2011 11:18 pm

Regina wrote:Ah, don't get me started on that shit... :nono:
There's a manicure salon round the corner: Hands and Feet's :lol:


There is a hairdresser near where my daughter lives:" Austrian Hairlines..."

BTW, i have the perfect article on the bastardization of the German language with English words but i must go though my files to find it. I'll post it here later. ( then it will be geposted)
Literature, fiction, poetry, whatever, makes justice in the world. That’s why it almost always has to be on the side of the underdog. ~Grace Paley
User avatar
ConnyRaSk
 
Posts: 4828

Country: Austria
Austria (at)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#44  Postby Lion IRC » Oct 30, 2011 1:49 am

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?


Indeed!
I'm with The_Metatron on this.

Halloween weirdness. Me and thee agreeing. :scratch:
FORMAL DEBATE - Lion IRC (affirmative) vs Crocodile Gandhi (negative)
Topic - Gay marriage should not be legalised in society.
Moderator - Durro
Now Showing HERE.
User avatar
Lion IRC
Banned Troll
 
Posts: 4077

Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#45  Postby cherries » Oct 30, 2011 2:08 am

LIFE wrote:
Wiðercora wrote:
Varangian wrote:
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.


Something that's actually far worse is Germans using English sounding words and ever apply German grammar to them.

I give you an example:

"Handy" is the German word for a cell phone. We do have a perfectly fine word for a mobile phone already but nobody uses it, instead, as it seems quite trendy to bastardize English words.

"Gedownloaded" means "something has been downloaded", see that? It's even declined :smug:
This although we have a perfectly fine word for this in German already but again...nobody uses it :whine:

I can see how our language is getting mixed up more and more each day.


am reading this with a german accent :shifty:
"Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked.
This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men."
-Terry Pratchett / Neil Gaiman




A theists for Conservation
User avatar
cherries
 
Posts: 6834
Age: 57
Female

Country: deutschelande
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#46  Postby Lion IRC » Oct 30, 2011 2:10 am

Anywhere I have seen this claim about the existence of untranslatable words debated, the people arguing in the affirmative never fail to provide conclusive arguments against their own case.

Somebody should invent a word which means..."word which cant be translated". (Reminds me of the Secretaries Paradox)
FORMAL DEBATE - Lion IRC (affirmative) vs Crocodile Gandhi (negative)
Topic - Gay marriage should not be legalised in society.
Moderator - Durro
Now Showing HERE.
User avatar
Lion IRC
Banned Troll
 
Posts: 4077

Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#47  Postby Zwaarddijk » Oct 30, 2011 2:47 am

Ultimately, we could claim that almost no word ever is translatable.

Seldom will a word and a near-synonymous word in another language (or even a near synonymous word in the same language) have all the same connotations - and in explaining usage and meaning of a word, connotations are more important than most people would guess.

Of course, this gets even worse, as lots of speakers of the same language won't even share all those connotations! We could go as far as to claim that words are untranslatable within any single language.
Zwaarddijk
 
Posts: 4334
Male

Country: Finland
Finland (fi)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#48  Postby mraltair » Oct 30, 2011 11:10 am

Lion IRC wrote:
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?


Indeed!
I'm with The_Metatron on this.

Halloween weirdness. Me and thee agreeing. :scratch:


I'm not a words man but an explanation isn't the same as a translation. For example, if you were translating a Tshiluban (?) book into English and you reached "ilunga" you would have no English equivalent to use. You could explain it's meaning, and the idea is nothing an English speaker couldn't experience and describe, but there is no English equivalent for 'ilunga' so is untranslatable (into English). You would have to use 'ilunga' and introduce it into English, like people have done with schadenfreude.

That's if I understand your point. :shifty:
User avatar
mraltair
 
Posts: 5368

European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#49  Postby Regina » Oct 30, 2011 11:46 am

mraltair wrote:
Lion IRC wrote:
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?


Indeed!
I'm with The_Metatron on this.

Halloween weirdness. Me and thee agreeing. :scratch:


I'm not a words man but an explanation isn't the same as a translation. For example, if you were translating a Tshiluban (?) book into English and you reached "ilunga" you would have no English equivalent to use. You could explain it's meaning, and the idea is nothing an English speaker couldn't experience and describe, but there is no English equivalent for 'ilunga' so is untranslatable (into English). You would have to use 'ilunga' and introduce it into English, like people have done with schadenfreude.

That's if I understand your point. :shifty:

I've tried to point that out earlier in this thread, but to no avail, apparently.
If a word needs an explanation consisting of several sentences, or in a given sentence needs several words to convey the meaning, then it's not a translation:

I cherish every second with you, my love.
Ich liebe, schätze, bewahre, halte jede Sekunde mit Dir in Ehren, mein Liebster.
See the difference? And even all these German words in combination do not express the exact same thing.
No, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore,
They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before.

Kinky Friedman
Regina
 
Posts: 15627
Male

Djibouti (dj)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#50  Postby cherries » Oct 30, 2011 2:45 pm

in ehren dachte ich :scratch:
"Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked.
This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men."
-Terry Pratchett / Neil Gaiman




A theists for Conservation
User avatar
cherries
 
Posts: 6834
Age: 57
Female

Country: deutschelande
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#51  Postby Regina » Oct 30, 2011 2:48 pm

cherries wrote:in ehren

Nö, es heißt: in Ehren halten.
http://www.dict.cc/deutsch-englisch/in+ ... alten.html
No, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore,
They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before.

Kinky Friedman
Regina
 
Posts: 15627
Male

Djibouti (dj)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#52  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 30, 2011 3:04 pm

Regina wrote:I've tried to point that out earlier in this thread, but to no avail, apparently.
If a word needs an explanation consisting of several sentences, or in a given sentence needs several words to convey the meaning, then it's not a translation:

I cherish every second with you, my love.
Ich liebe, schätze, bewahre, halte jede Sekunde mit Dir in Ehren, mein Liebster.
See the difference? And even all these German words in combination do not express the exact same thing


I entirely agree. It is usually emotions that give the problems.

The Dutch word "gezellig" is translatable but you can never convay the exact emotion attached to it. You have to translate also the context in which it is being used;

een gezellig huis(A cozy/friendly/inviting/beautiful house)
een gezellig man (A friendly/honest/amicable/joyvial man)

There are even more meanings as well.
Myths in islam Women and islam Musilm opinion polls


"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.” — Napoleon Bonaparte
User avatar
Scot Dutchy
 
Posts: 43119
Age: 72
Male

Country: Nederland
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#53  Postby Regina » Oct 30, 2011 3:17 pm

cherries wrote:in ehren dachte ich :scratch:

Confusion reigns supreme.
Ging es Dir um die Schreibweise oder um die Übersetzung?
No, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore,
They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before.

Kinky Friedman
Regina
 
Posts: 15627
Male

Djibouti (dj)
Print view this post


Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#55  Postby Tim Danaher » Nov 05, 2011 8:36 pm

Oh, and there's also 'gelayouted' in German. My design students' eyes would fill up with tears when I'd correct them when they used 'layouted' in English and then would go on to explain that 'to lay out' is a fully declined separable verb in Eng. Gram.
User avatar
Tim Danaher
 
Posts: 265
Male

Hungary (hu)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#56  Postby Regina » Nov 05, 2011 8:37 pm

Tim Danaher wrote:'Hwyl'

Welsh?
No, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore,
They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before.

Kinky Friedman
Regina
 
Posts: 15627
Male

Djibouti (dj)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#57  Postby Blackadder » Nov 05, 2011 9:04 pm

One of my Dutch colleagues once described someone as a "mierenneuker". It means literally "antfucker" and describes someone who frets and fusses over completely insignificant and minor details. I guess "nitpicker" is the nearest English equivalent but it doesn't convey the contempt and uselessness of the Dutch description.

There is a Hindi word which is "lifungga". It cannot be translated directly into English but it is a combination of rascal, rogue, chav, ill-mannered wastrel and general undesirable.
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
User avatar
Blackadder
RS Donator
 
Posts: 3776
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#58  Postby Regina » Nov 05, 2011 9:09 pm

Blackadder wrote:One of my Dutch colleagues once described someone as a "mierenneuker". It means literally "antfucker" and describes someone who frets and fusses over completely insignificant and minor details. I guess "nitpicker" is the nearest English equivalent but it doesn't convey the contempt and uselessness of the Dutch description.

There is a Hindi word which is "lifungga". It cannot be translated directly into English but it is a combination of rascal, rogue, chav, ill-mannered wastrel and general undesirable.

In German that would be Korinthenkacker,literally someone who craps currants. Another one is Erbsenzähler, a counter of peas. Which is not as strong, obviously.
No, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore,
They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before.

Kinky Friedman
Regina
 
Posts: 15627
Male

Djibouti (dj)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#59  Postby Scarlett » Nov 05, 2011 9:30 pm

I can't say consciousness, it's awesomely untranslatable to me!

Or Worcestershire :(
User avatar
Scarlett
 
Posts: 16046

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words

#60  Postby OlivierK » Nov 05, 2011 9:36 pm

Tim Danaher wrote:Oh, and there's also 'gelayouted' in German. My design students' eyes would fill up with tears when I'd correct them when they used 'layouted' in English and then would go on to explain that 'to lay out' is a fully declined separable verb in Eng. Gram.

I hope after their lesson they at least progressed to "outgelayed" :grin:
User avatar
OlivierK
 
Posts: 9828
Age: 54
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Other Languages

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 2 guests