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Re: Untranslatable words

From:David Barrow <davidab@...>
Date:Thursday, June 24, 2004, 19:51
Peter Bleackley wrote:

> A survey of linguists has concluded that the following are the most > untranslatable words in English. > > googly
as in cricket?
> > Spam (as in tinned meat)
SPiced hAM. Portmanteau word. Presumably this applies to other words of this type: brunch, snortle, motel, smog
> > gobbledegook
My English-Spanish dictionary has 'galimatías'
> > plenipotentiary
Spanish 'plenipotenciario'
> > whimsy
Spanish 'capricho' though this might translate 'whim' better
> > bumf
bum fodder Spanish 'papeleo' which of course doesn't do the etymology justice
> > serendipity > poppycock
Spanish cháchara, palique David Barrow
> > kitsch > > The most untranslatable words from other languages > ilunga Tshiluba word for a person who is ready to forgive any abuse a > first > time, tolerate it a second time, but never a third time. > shlimazl Yiddish for chronically unlucky person. > radioukacz Polish for a person who worked as a telegraphist for > resistance > movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain. > naa Kansai dialect of Japanese, used to emphasise statements or agree > with > someone (possibly a variant of ne?) > altahmam Arabic for a kind of deep sadness > gezellig Dutch for cozy > saudade Portuguese for a certain type of longing > selathirupar Tamil for a certain type of truancy > pochemuchka Russian for a person who asks a lot of questions > klloshar Albanian for loser > > Pete >


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>