+
upworthy
Identity

People from foreign countries share their 15 favorite words with no English equivalent

There are some thoughts and feelings that are lost in translation.

languages, english, translations

A group of friends discuss linguistics.

Even though humans worldwide share the same senses, feelings, needs, wants and desires, our languages and the ways we communicate have evolved separately, so some languages have phrases and words that have no equivalent in others.

These words often emerge from the unique cultures, histories, and environments that shape each language. It's like a special secret, a word that captures a feeling, a situation, or an object so precisely that perhaps no other word in any other language can replicate it exactly.

The uniqueness of each language showcases the beauty and diversity of human experiences and perspectives. Moreover, it underlines the delightful intricacy of languages, inviting us to see the world through different lenses and embrace perspectives shaped by differing social nuances. It’s a testament to the vibrant tapestry of human expression.


The difference in languages is a beautiful thing. But it can also be frustrating when one speaks multiple languages and there is no way to express a certain feeling in one language that they can in another.

A Reddit user named Don_Pickelball asked foreign-born people who live in English-speaking countries to share the words that exist in their native language that are sorely missed in English. Here are 15 of the most interesting.

1. Geborgenheit (German)

"In German, we have the word 'Geborgenheit' which describes a very specific feeling of feeling cozy and safe and protected. Like you would feel when you're around loved ones sitting around a fire or when the person you love holds you under the warm covers when it's raining outside. I tried to explain this to someone the other day and when we googled the translation- it came up with 'cozyness' which really doesn't pay justice to what it actually means." — Else1

2. Verschlimmbessern (German)

"If you try to fix something but actually make it worse than it was before." — Chili919

3. Geborgenheid (Dutch)

"It is about feeling safe and sheltered because someone who loves you and cares for you makes sure nobody can hurt you." — Illimprovement700

4. Komorebi (Japanese)

"It roughly translates as 'the scattered light that filters through when sunlight shines through trees.'" — tipsy_jana

5. Saudade (Portuguese)

"It has a similar meaning to 'miss you' but we have a direct translation for that 'senti sua falta,' saudade has more of an emotional feel to it, it’s really hard to explain, it’s deeper than simply missing someone." — Peddy_D

6. Backpfeifengesicht (German)

"A face in need of a fist." — No_Tamanegi

7. Estrenar (Spanish)

"To use something for the first time." — Ratonvacilon23

8. Kuchisabishii (Japanese)

"A Japanese term which directly translates to 'lonely mouth;' when you're not hungry, but you eat because your mouth is lonely." — MOS95B

9. Kalsarikännit (Finnish)

"Meaning deliberately getting drunk alone at home in your underpants with zero plans of meeting anyone or going out. I think other nations do this as well, but don't have a word for it. Delightfully relaxing and therapeutic at times, slightly concerning if done excessively. At best a wonderful opportunity to touch base with yourself, your life and your deepest thoughts and feelings. And/or watch that one cheesy comedy from 1992 you love but can't get any of your friends to watch with you because they have standards. At worst you wake up to an unholy mess accompanied by a killer headache, cheese all over the bed, cryptic messages on ripped up pieces of pizza box cardboard written by you to you all over the kitchen, and have nobody to blame than yourself." — Fit_Share_6147

10. Chaw-tamaw-tey-quat (Comanche)

"My native language is a Native American language called Comanche and isn't a written language but the word sounds like 'chaw-tamaw-tey-quat' and it basically is a socially acceptable way to say 'I'm done speaking.'" — SCP-33005

11. Tachiyomi (Japanese)

"Japanese has loads of words that require entire sentences to explain in English. My favorite of all time is tachiyomi, which means 'standing at a newsstand reading something without any intention of paying for it.'" — the2belo

12. Lagom (Swedish)

"It means not bad, and not too good. Just an average between. A very neutral word. For example, when you wash your hands, the water should be lagom hot. Not cold, not scalding hot. Just lagom." — Live_Rock3302

13. Luce (Farsi)

"It basically means intentionally acting all cutesy/precious/coy because you think it's appealing." — _eviehalboro

14. Sobremesa (Spanish)

"After a meal when you sit around the table talking." — KommieKoala

15. Załatwić (Polish)

"It means to get something done using connections/ persuasion/ backroom dealings." — ---Loading---

Community

Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.

I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Owner of plus-size dress shop gifts $700 prom dress to 'shy' teen after watching her light up

Creating moments like these is why she opened her store in the first place.

@juicybodygoddess/TikTok

Elyse Monroe found the perfect dress, then found out it costs nothing.

Adolescence is a harrowing time for body image and self-esteem all around, but few milestones are as universally daunting as finding a prom dress. Whether it’s due to budget constraints, not being able to find a dress that fits, or both, what should be a fun event is often viscerally dreaded.

This was certainly the case for Summer Lucille. Lucille told Today.com that growing up, “if you weren’t skinny, there weren’t many options, and it was devastating for me because I’ve always loved fashion.”

She recalled, “I went to my prom looking like a church lady in a suit dress with a jacket because it was the only thing that fit. It was a very sad period in my life.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Kayleigh Donahue explains the differences between the U.S. and Europe.

American-born TikTok user Kayleigh Donahue is going viral on the platform because of her unflinching take on why it was a mistake for her to move back to the U.S. after spending 4 years in Ireland.

She now lives in the Boston area.

Kayleigh moved back to the U.S. from Ireland to make more money, but that didn’t go as planned. Even though she got paid more, the cost of living was so much higher that she saved less money than she did in Ireland. She also missed the generous number of vacation days she got in Europe as compared to America.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Homeless man catches family's two children and dogs dropped from burning apartment building

"He was right underneath and he was like 'Yes, throw your daughters out, I'm going to catch them, I'm going to get them.'"

Man catches entire family as they jump from burning building.

House fires are devastating for families. In a matter of minutes, you could lose all of your belongings and a place to live, or worse, you could lose loved ones. A family in Phoenix, Arizona, recently found themselves facing the reality of their own home in flames. Claudia Jimenez told CBS News that she woke up trapped in her burning apartment with her two daughters, with nothing to do but yell for help in the hopes that someone would hear her.

The mom's screams were answered by Joe Hollins, a homeless man who was camping nearby with his wife. Hollins didn't hesitate to try to find a way to help. With no way out and the fire department still nowhere on the scene, Jimenez had to trust the stranger who was standing below.

"He was right underneath and he was like 'Yes, throw your daughters out, I'm going to catch them, I'm going to get them,'" Jimenez told CBS.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Man who was declared dead turns up alive after his family receives someone else's ashes

A bizarre case of mistaken identity sent Tyler Chase and his family on an emotional roller coaster.

Canva

7,000 to 12,000 people are mistakenly declared dead each year.

Back in September of 2023, the family of Tyler Chase received the tragic news that the 22-year-old had died of a drug overdose.

As told by several news outlets, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office of Portland, Oregon had found Chase’s wallet and used the temporary license, which had his name but no photo, at the scene, which they used to identify the body. They then showed up to the family’s home with a death certificate and an urn holding the young man’s ashes.

Or so they thought.

Keep ReadingShow less

Lisa Beasley as Corporate Erin

Comedian Lisa Beasley is making people squirm on TikTok with her character, Corporate Erin. Erin is a parody of the typical corporate employee in America, complete with her corporate accent, corporate gulp and mastery of corporate jargon.

She even has the perfect corporate job title: The manager for the managerial logistics of management at McManagement.

In her videos, Erin talks at you in your “one-on-one” meeting while clutching her coffee cup for dear life, uncomfortably gyrating in her chair and adjusting her glasses. Erin has the unique ability to talk at length using corporate word salad while saying absolutely nothing. But she definitely wants to circle back with you to be sure you have the deliverables for the rollout. Okayyyyyy?

Keep ReadingShow less