Infographic Category Education

Untranslatable Emotions in Languages Other Than English

By | source:Here Dec 25th, 2013

While the English language features a ginormous amount of words to describe most anything, it sometimes comes up short when we’re trying to describe certain emotions. Other cultures have individual words for certain feelings that we have to describe with long sentences or vague ideas that we weren’t exactly taught.

For example, in Hebrew there’s a term for “I’m sick of you,” and describes the feeling of obsession with someone or something (maybe clingyness is the English equivalent?); the Japanese have a word for “the bubbly feeling of the moment of falling in love”; the Estonians have a term for “the feeling of slight laziness, can’t be bothered by anything. Don’t want to work nor go anywhere.” (I can definitely relate); and the Italians have “Ti voglio bene” which means, “The attachment for family, friends and animals.”

This infographic begs the question, are English speakers out of touch with their emotions? Maybe a little. It’s hard for a lot of people to talk about their feelings, and maybe because we don’t have enough words for them we end up feeling a little lost.

Check out today’s infographic for a look at beautiful words and feelings from all over the world.