11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures [Infographic]

August 25, 2013 |  by  |  Education, Funny, Travel

Language is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating things about the human race. Most languages can be translated into other languages and cultures, but in today’s infographic we find out that there are eleven words that do not have a direct English translation.

Waldeinsamkeit is a German word that means the feeling of being alone in the woods. Waldeinsamkeit in English could mean scared, worried, or happy. Being in the woods alone can either be a blessing or a curse. Maybe Germans culturally view the woods as a peaceful place–who is to say but a German person?

For the Spanish word listed, sobremesa, directly translated as “about table” (possibly about the table) refers to the instance in which the party who has just eaten together converses with one another. In English, “table talk”–a word that dictates what is appropriate to talk about at the table, and what is not–could be the translation for many.

The Russian word pochemuchka is also listed. No one wants to be a pochemuchka. This word signifies a level of insecurity in a given situation and its surroundings (unless its your job to ask a lot of questions).

Language is beautiful in every aspect. It should be encouraged more often that we all get to know someone else’s culture and language. It can benefit you, those in your community, and those you may meet in the future. [via]

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  • ravi charan

    Nice funny article. I do understand Russian and Urdu. I don’t think Russians use “Pochemuchka” word very often. When anyone use “Pochemu” means “why” very often they returns with similar word “pokochinu” which doesn’t have any specific meaning :). Anyways, really nice article. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, Urdu word “Goya” is used very often in story telling.

    • Steve

      My mother in law likes to playfully call my wife pochemuchka. They’re Ukrainian, but primarily speak Russian.

      • ravi charan

        “Pochemuchka” wife is a bliss :)

    • Lina

      ????????? is not just a person, it is normally related to a child, when having period of asking questions all starting from WHY (literally it can be translated as Why-er, or Little Why-er strictly, meaning curious developing toddler), it appeared in some kids show or book long ago, no need to be translated as you do not translate Wiggles in Australia for example..

  • Guest

    In German we have a translation for “Dépaysement” – It is “Heimweh”.
    Also I have never heard of Waldeinsamkeit as a native speaker.
    (Weltschmerz for example does not exist in any other language and would fit much better here)

  • Guest

    In German we have a translation for “Dépaysement” – It is “Heimweh”.
    Also I have never heard of Waldeinsamkeit (even as a native speaker).

    Nevertheless entertaining ;)

    • ravi charan

      Yeah, the article is entertaining!!! at least for language lovers.

  • Veronica

    Cualacino doesn’t exist in Italian. The right word is CULACCINO.

  • nanda

    hahaha, ‘Jayus’ is very often used in conversation when someone told us unfunny joke then become an awkward situation..

  • kelferg

    In Spanish “sobre” can also mean “over” or “above”…so “sobremesa” literally translated means “above the table”.

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  • Reema

    “Goya” is often used in urdu peotry and it just makes a verse sound beautiful! Here’s an example for urdu speakers:




  • Sofia Ki

    its missing “SAUDADE”(portuguese word) that means “a deep emotional state of nostalgic or deeply melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves”.

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  • Monica Kronemeyer DeRegt

    I love this list!! But it really needs to include the Dutch word “gezellig” which means an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality and over all “feel good-ness”.

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  • Marta De Capoa

    Actually is Culaccino

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  • Olga

    “No one wants to be a pochemuchka. This word signifies a level of
    insecurity in a given situation and its surroundings (unless its your
    job to ask a lot of questions).” This statement is completely wrong. Pochemuchka, as somebody already mentioned in a comment, is a word that usually refers to a child who asks a lot of “why” questions (why is there a rainbow in the sky? why is the sky blue? etc.). It has nothing to do with insecurity, but instead indicates a healthy level of curiosity in a child. “You are such a pochemuchka” is something parents could lovingly say to their child after or before a nice discussion on some interesting “why” topic.

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  • Guest

    My favorite is machatunim (Yiddish) or consuegros (Spanish). It is for co-in-laws; what my parents are to my husband’s parents. There is no English word, but there should be.

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  • blue

    Goya = güya and Mangata = yakamoz ( in Turkish )