16 untranslatable words from other languages

7 August 2017
There are words in every language that are practically impossible to translate. Our translators rack their brains for hours, but it’s still fun work. Below are some very interesting examples from various languages.
Untranslatable words

Donaldkacsázás (Hungarian): literally ‘Donald Ducking’, or wearing a shirt, but no pants or underwear, at home.


Age-tori (Japanese): coming out of the hairdresser’s looking worse than when you went in.


Verschlimmbesserung( German): an attempted improvement that makes things worse than they already were. 


Prozvonit (Czech): when you call someone’s mobile and let it ring once so the other person will call you back, saving you money.


Schnappsidee (German): a supposedly brilliant drunken idea that falls far short in the sober light of day.


Seigneur-terraces (French): people who go to a café and sit at the table for a long time, but don’t spend much money.


Jayus (Indonesian): a joke that is so poorly delivered, you can’t help but laugh at it.


Mangata (Swedish): the reflection of the moon on the water.


Pochemuchka (Russian): someone who asks a lot of questions.


Kummerspeck (German): the excess weight-gain that comes from emotional eating.


Iktsuarpok (Inuit): that feeling of anticipation that makes you keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming.


Tartle (Scottish): that moment of hesitation when introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.


L’appel du vide (French): that tiny voice in your head that urges you to jump when you’re standing on a high ledge.


Fernweh (German): the opposite of homesickness; a longing for far-off places.


Shemomedjamo (Georgian): continuing to eat, even though you’re full, because the food is just so delicious.


Utepils (Norwegian): enjoying a beer outside on a sunny day.