Words not easily translated into English



Words not easily translated into English


Culture has a big influence on the development of language and cultures differ significantly around the world. That is why each language has a number of words which just can’t be easily translated into another. Why would the Spanish need multiple names for snow when they hardly get any? While people in Iceland just couldn’t do without this distinction.

Have a look at our list of words that cannot be easily translated into English.


Abbiocco (Italian) – the drowsiness one feels after overeating or eating a big meal


Backpfeifengesicht (German) – the face of someone who deserves a beating


Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese) – the act of tenderly running your fingers through the hair of your lover


Dépayser (French) – to leave your comfort zone or your country


Dor (Romanian) – this word is a mixture of longing and sadness


Duende (Spanish) – to be in awe of nature, to feel the overwhelming sense of nature’s beauty, now also used to describe being in awe of art


Empalagar (Spanish) – when something is so sweet that it’s disgusting


Eomchina (Korean ) – literally means “mother’s friend’s son” derives from the fact that Korean mothers often compare their kids to their friend’s children


Kilkanaście (Polish) – there is not a single English word that could express this word in Polish, it means any number between 11 and 19


Menefreghista (Italian) – someone who has a general ‘I don’t care’ attitude


Pochemuchka (Russian) – someone who asks too many questions


Sambo (Swedish) – someone who you have a long-term serious and committed relationship with, but you are not married


Utepils (Norwegian) – a beer that you drink outdoors


Waldeinsamkeit (German) – the feeling of being alone in the forest


Zeg (Georgian) – the day after tomorrow (but way shorter!)




Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and don’t miss another article on CourseFinders.com

Find your perfect language school Search CourseFinders to find the course for you