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Untranslatable: A post for the word nerds among us

Posted on November 9th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Homework Help, Web sites to watch, Words & Writing.

I just stumbled across this, and it may be one of my new favorite posts: %20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World. If you speak another language, are learning one in school, have traveled to another country, or are generally a Word Nerd (as am I), you may appreciate some of these:

Jayus (Indonesian) — “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.” I don’t know about you, but these are the jokes that often make me laugh the hardest! Closely related are jokes that make you think this.

Iktsuarpok (Inuit) — “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

Prozvonit (Czech) — This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.” (Ha! I’ve done this…but only occasionally…*cough*)

Do you know a word that exists in another language but doesn’t have a corresponding word in English? Tell us in the comments!

And if you’re interested in learning another language, you definitely need to check out one of our online services, Mango Languages. Mango is an online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more. Create an account, hear and see the vocabulary, and track your progress!



Comment on November 10th, 2011.

Oh, Mango looks cool! I’ve been looking for something like this, and this may just be the answer I need. Thanks for sharing!


Comment on November 11th, 2011.

Erin, I’m so glad Mango will be helpful to you! It is awesome and makes me want to learn EVERY language!

Harry Potter Fan

Comment on November 12th, 2011.

That is so COOL!!!!!
I didn’t know words like that existed!!!!

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