Words With No Direct English Translation


  • Shouganai –  connected to the idea of fate, this word means that something can’t be helped, so why worry about it?Komorebi
  • Komorebi – the sort of scattered, dappled light effect that happens when sunlight shines in through tree
  • Koi No Yokan – the feeling upon meeting someone that falling in love with him or her is inevitable.
  • Tsundoku –  The act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling up together with other such unread books.
  • Wabi-sabi – accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay; Finding beauty in the imperfections, an acceptance of the cycle of life and death.
  • Kyoikumama – mother who pushed her children into academic achievements
  • Age-otori – to look worse after a haircut
  • Aware – the bitter sweetness of a brief and fading moment of transcendent beauty
  • Chindogu – a solution to a common problem that’s pretty useless otherwise
  • Ikigai – a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to live
  • Nekama – a man who pretends to be a woman on the internet



  • Schadenfreude – a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.3710_002-version-2
  • Waldeinsamkeit – the feeling experienced while alone in the woods, connecting with nature.
  • Fernweh – feeling homesick for a place you have never been to
  • Backpfeifengesicht – a face badly in need of a fist
  • Schnapsidee – an ingenious plan one hatches while drunk
  • Entlistungsfreude – the satisfaction afforded by crossing things off lists
  • Torschlusspanik – literally meaning “gate closing panic”; the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages
  • Kabelsalat – tangled up cables



  • Glas wen – this literally means a “blue smile”; one that is sarcastic or mocking.



  • Aşermek – the experience of craving certain foods while pregnant



  • Pana po’o – the act of scratching one’s head in order to remember the location of a misplaced object
  • Akihi – listening to directions and then walking off and promptly forgetting them means that you’ve gone “akihi.”



  • Forelsket – the specific feeling experienced while falling in love, rather than simply being in love.
  • Utepils – to sit outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer



  • Razbliuto – a feeling a person has for someone he or she once loved but no longer feels the same way about
  • Toska – a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause.
  • Pochemuchka – a person who asks too many questions



  • Shemomedjamo – this word describes when you continue to eat an entire meal in spite of feeling full.
  • Zeg – the day after tomorrow



  • Mangata – the glimmering, road-like reflection that the moon creates on the water.
  • Lagom –  associated with moderation, the word means not too much, not too little, but just the right amount. It typically refers to the etiquette of taking your share.
  • Tretar – on its own, “tår” means a cup of coffee and “patår” is the refill of said coffee. A “tretar” is therefore a second refill, or a “threefill.”
  • Gokotta – to wake up early in the morning with the purpose of going outside to hear the first birds sing



  • Psithurism – the sound of leaves rustling in the wind.
  • Istoriesmearkoudes – literally “stories with bears”; refers to narrated events so wild and crazy it seems that they can’t possibly be true.
  • Parea – a group of friends that get together to enjoy nothing but sharing their life experiences, philosophies, ideas and values.



  • Han – a collective feeling of oppression and isolation; it’s as amorphous a notion as love or hate: intensely personal, yet carried around collectively, a national torch, a badge of suffering tempered by a sense of resiliency.
  • Won – the reluctance on a person’s part to let go of an illusion
  • Guje – the day before yesterday



  • Tampo – withdrawing affection from a person when one’s feelings have been hurt.



  • Iktsuarpok –  the frustration of waiting for someone to turn up; the feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming



  • Culaccino – the stain left on a table from a cold glass of water
  • Gattara – a woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats
  • Commuovere – to be moved in a heart-warming way, usually relating to a story that moved you to tears



  • Hygge – the act of relaxing with loved ones and good friends, usually while enjoying food and drink; designates the mentality and demeanour of being warm, accommodating and friendly. Politically, it finds an echo [in Denmark] to welcome political refugees.
  • Kaelling – a woman cursing at her children



  • Mencomot – stealing things of small value, mostly for fun rather than out of necessity.
  • Jayus – a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh



  • Saudade – melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away from you; a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy
  • Cafune – tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair



  • Goya – the suspension of disbelief that can occur, often through good storytelling; apparently; it is said



  • Fargin – to wholeheartedly appreciate the successes of others
  • Luftmensch – refers to someone who is a bit of a dreamer and literally means “air person.”
  • Shlimazl – a chronically unlucky person



  • Mamihlapinatapei – A wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start



  • Kilig – the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, usually when something romantic or cute takes place.



  • Papakata – To have one leg shorter than the other



  • Illunga – a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.



  • Kaapshljmurslis – a person who is cramped while riding a public transportation



  • Friolero – a person who is especially sensitive to cold weather and temperatures
  • Pena ajena – the feeling of being embarrassed for another person
  • Madrugada – the time of day occurring between late at night (i.e. past midnight) and early morning
  • Sobremesa – the time spent after lunch or dinner, talking to the people you shared the meal with



  • Litost – a feeling that synthesizes grief, sympathy, remorse and longing; a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery
  • Proznovit – to call a mobile phone only to have it ring once so that the other person would call back allowing the caller not to spend money on minutes

3 thoughts on “Words With No Direct English Translation

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