Subscribe to Newsletter

50 of the world’s most untranslatable words

Put down the phrasebook; you won’t find any of these words in there

Most travellers know that no matter how hard they try to understand, there will be times when words are lost in translation. But don’t fret, as there are countless words in every language, which are unique to that tongue (and sometimes for good reason).


A new infographic created by Morningside Translations, reveals words and phrases in various languages that have no direct translation into English, and it makes for some very interesting reading.


Where you will and where you won’t need Google Translate


For instance, the word ‘Forelsket’ is a Norwegian word for ‘the indescribable euphoria experienced as you begin to fall in love’.


In nearby Sweden, the word ‘Gokotta’ means ‘to wake up early in the morning with the purpose of going outside to hear the birds sing’. 


More than a few Japanese phrases are included in the list, from the word ‘Tsundoku’ meaning ‘Leaving a book unread after buying it’ to ‘Komorebi’, which translates as ‘The sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees’.


Check out the infographic and tell us if you know of any others.



Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk
Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 11 May 2016

comments powered by Disqus