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Re: Untranslatable words

From:Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
Date:Thursday, June 24, 2004, 15:16
Staving Christophe Grandsire:
>En réponse à Peter Bleackley : > > >>A survey of linguists has concluded that the following are the most >>untranslatable words in English. >> >>googly >>Spam (as in tinned meat) >>gobbledegook >>plenipotentiary > >"plénipotentiaire" is a correct French word :) . > >>gezellig Dutch for cozy > >If it's so untranslatable, why give it a one-word translation? ;) Anyway, >its untranslatability is correct: "cozy" is certainly *not* a good >translation for "gezellig", unless you can be "cozy" in a full pub, while >drinking beer and singing a "levenslied" with people you never met before ;) .
I suspected that the newspaper was running out of space by this point in the article, and so started giving abbreviated definitions that left out whatever had made the original so untranslatable. Pete