Language connects us

Sometimes, however, one language doesn't do justice to our feelings, and we can't express ourselves with a single word.

In that case, we turn to other languages for help. Here are some words from around the world for which there is no direct equivalent in another language.


Meaning: The sunlight streaming through the leaves of trees.

Language: Japanese


Meaning: The time spent around a table after a meal. They have finished eating, but everyone remains at the table sharing stories, drinking wine or coffee and playing games.

Language: Spanish


Meaning: A longing for faraway places, even those you’ve never visited.

Language: German


Meaning: Something wonderful found by pure luck.

Language: French


Meaning: To wake up early in the morning to go outside and listen to the early birds sing.

Language: Swedish


Meaning : When you let your cell phone ring extra when someone calls you, then call back to save the first caller money.

Language : Czech


Meaning : The hesitation shown in trying to remember someone’s name.

Language : Scottish


Meaning : Someone gradually steals all his neighbor's possessions by borrowing them and not returning them.

Language : Pascuense


Meaning : A person who asks too many questions

Language : Russian


Meaning : a woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats.

Language: Italian


Meaning : the frustration of waiting for someone to show up

Language : Inuit


Meaning : a wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.

Language : Yagan


Meaning : The reluctance on a person's part to let go of an illusion.

Language : Korean


Meaning : This word is an emotional declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person to express how impossible it would be to live without them.

Language : Arabic


Meaning : It’s the heightened sense of happiness, fulfilment, and satisfaction you get from having a great job.

Language : Danish


Meaning : Getting drunk alone at home in your underwear with no intention of leaving the house.

Language : Finnish


Meaning : Giving the appearance of being busy and important in the workplace when in reality you’re being super lazy.

Language : Dutch


Meaning : The need to sing along to a song even though you don’t know the lyrics. Instead, you use nonsensical noises that vaguely resemble the lyrics of a song.

Language : French


Meaning : A feeling of pure joy on seeing someone else’s accomplishment.

Language : Hebrew


Meaning : A kind of smile that forms when something isn’t especially funny, but you can’t help but smile anyway.

Language : Hungary


Meaning : the famous tingling sensation when a body part was "asleep" and "wakes up" again.

Language : Indonesian


Meaning : The indescribable euphoria you feel when you start to fall in love with someone.

Language : Norwegian


Meaning : To make something or try to resolve a problem with the bare minimum and in an unusual way.

Language : Polish


Meaning : An affectional longing for an absent person, a moment or experience of the past.

Language : Portuguese


Meaning : Tiptoeing across warm or hot sand.

Language : Rukwangali


Meaning : The pursuit of small pleasures everyday, which all adds up to a feeling of contentment, fulfilment and oneness with the larger purpose and the universe.

Language : Serbian


Meaning : the overwhelming feeling that comes over you when you see something unbearably cute that you want to squeeze or pinch it.

Language : Tagalog (Philippines)


Meaning : refers persons with their head in the clouds. They are more concerned with airy intellectual pursuits than practical matters like earning an income.

Language : Yiddish


Meaning : The act of being kind to others because of one’s common humanity. Ubuntu is frequently translated as ‘I am because we are,’ or ‘humanity towards others’.

Language : Zulu


Meaning : Literally "slipper hero"; A man who may act tough in front of his friends but can’t stand up for himself against his wife.

Language : German


Meaning : The experience of craving certain foods while pregnant.

Language : Turkish


Meaning : The act of searching your head in order to help you remember something you have forgotten.

Language : Hawaiian


Meaning : is the goodwill a speaker cultivates between themselves and their audience, a condition of receptivity.

Language : Greek