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13 Untranslatable Words About Love

“ubuntu” (Ndebele)

I really enjoy the work of Ella Frances Sanders*.

Her bestselling book, Lost in Translation, has been a worldwide hit in many languages. This short video adapts 13 “untranslatable” words about love, sharing their literal meaning.

 

 

Here are a few of my favorites:

tiam (Farsi): the twinkle in your eye when you first meet someone

forelsket (Norwegian): the indescribable euphoria as you begin to fall in love

nunchi (Korean): the subtle, often unnoticed art of listening and gauging another’s mood

wabi-sabi (Japanese): finding beauty in imperfections; acceptance of the cycle of life and death

Sometimes a single word in English doesn’t describe what you’re looking for. If you watch the video, what do some of these words mean to you?

“saudade” (Portuguese)

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*In fact, I like her work so much that I asked her to design my first (and only) tattoo

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