… for example, is translatable as:
And so on.
What they really mean is “not easily translatable in a simple, term-for-term way”.
The Persian princes of Serendip would be surprised to find they’re actually speaking Tamil…
Personally, I think the most interesting class of “non-translatable” words are those that are so weighted with cultural baggage that, although you can convey the rough gist of them, it is nigh impossible for an outsider to ever fully grok their nuances, at least without years of immersion. E.g., Japanese honorifics.
Well, technically, vellichor is an invented word (not a “real” word).
Not sure why you’re telling me, as I did not make the list?
It’s a perfectly cromulent word, certainly better than “embiggen.”
Sorry; on that previous post, I didn’t mean to reply directly to you. My bad.
When it comes down to it, all words are invented.
Yeah, I think if we are going to throw about the term “non-translatable” it should be reserved for cases along these lines: where some sort of cultural familiarity is essential to understanding the word’s subtleties.
I might also consider words like “ya” in Spanish or “tak” in Danish, which have a kajillion meanings that are highly contextual to their use in the language itself. This is not quite untranslatable (it’s translatable in any one context, to be sure) but to fully capture the idea of the word is not really possible in translation without a LOT of explanation or examples.
Ennui is an English word that can’t be translated?
Can confirm, German mother tossed that one out when she had a skin full of peppermint schnapps in her. Nowadays they’d call that a self own.
Oh! Happens to the best of us!
The equivalent of jo in Norwegian and doch in German exists, as far as I’m aware, in every Germanic language except English. I find it utterly untranslatable in a simple way.
Hah! My first thought was, “we pronounce that one ‘Cruz.’”
When I have to describe “doch,” to a non-German speaker I always say, “is so,” with attitude.
Specific attitude may vary
Which is warranted, I mean, the self-contradiction is right in the post title.