Some feelings just can't be translated into English words, but that's where expressions and phrases from all over the world come to your rescue.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 23, 2021. It has since been updated.
In life, there are times when you can be at a loss for words, not because you don't know what to say, but because you can't really find the right word to describe how you really feel. Given how English isn't the only mode of communication in the world, there are words from other languages that could perfectly describe how you're feeling.
Here are 12 beautiful words from all over the world that don't really exist in English, but they have stunning meanings.
Originating from Japan, this phrase translates to “Finding beauty in imperfections.” Not everyone is perfect, and that's actually what makes them unique. The more you learn to accept your flaws, the more confident you'll be.
This is a Welsh word that people say is an emotion; something that cannot be translated. However, it does mean “a particular type of longing for the homeland or the romanticized past.” Now you see why they say translating it is hard?
The Russian word describes “a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without a specific cause; a longing with nothing to long for.” Novelist Vladimir Nabokov believes that “No single word in English renders all the shades of Toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause."
Have you ever felt something was meant for you when you wear it for the first time? The Spanish have a word for it, and it's Estrenar, which means "The experience of wearing something for the first time."
The Danish believe in having "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." After all, life doesn't make much sense without Hygge.
Home is where the heart is, which is why you feel like you don't fit in in certain places. The French call it dépaysement, which is “the feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country; being a foreigner.”
In German, there's a word for when you feel "a deep longing for distant places, especially places you’ve never been to, aka far-sickness." If you ever feel like packing your pages and going to a place far away, it's probably Fernweh.
It really is hard to understand what the other person is feeling, isn't it? This is why it truly is a gift to master "the art of being in touch with other people’s feelings, ideas, and emotions to engage and respond to a situation correctly," aka noon-chi, as the Koreans call it.
There are only so many times a person can forgive and forget. Maybe once, maybe twice, but never a third time. The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo have a word for "a person who is ready to forgive any transgression a first time and then to tolerate it for a second time, but never for a third time.” It's called Ilunga.
There's no better way to describe the feeling "When you pour your heart and soul into something you’re doing", other than by using the Greek word Meraki. As long as you do something with Meraki, irrespective of the end result, it's good enough.
Arabs don't say "I love you till the day I die," they say Ya’aburnee. It is “a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person because of how unbearable it would be to live without them.” Honestly, there's nothing more beautiful than this expression.
Love is always a beautiful feeling but the people of Norway have a word to describe “the euphoria experienced as you begin to fall in love.” If you ever feel this way, then you know it's Forelsket.
The pen is said to be mightier than the sword because words have the power to hurt you, but they can also heal you, just like these words from across the world. Which one is your favorite?
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | anand purohit