Re: You have a word for it?
|From:||Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, January 26, 2002, 11:31|
En réponse à Elliott Belser <renyard@...>:
> Ever picked up a book called 'They Have A Word For It?' This is where
> I got Katzenjammer and Bol from, along with a lot of other great
> words like Potlatch, 'to give away lavish gifts for the purpose of
> rising in social rank' and L'espirit d'escaler, 'The state where you
> have come up with a cutting retort to a wise-ass remark, long after
> you have left the situtation where you were the butt of it.' I'd
> like to know what cool untranslatable words are in your languages.
Well, "esprit d'escalier" refers to a trait of character, not to the state
itself. But indeed it refers to a trait of character of people who find the
right retort to a remark usually a few hours later when the situation is gone
and the people have probably forgotten what the conversation was about. It's a
real burden for your social life, believe me (I unfortunately have this trait
of character). I envy those people who immediately come up with the needed
replies (we say in French "personnes qui répondent du tac au tac" :) ).
French has another funny word: "hôte", which means both "host" and "guest".
AFMCL, I'd have to go through their vocabulary again, but I do remember that in
Moten the very word "moten" is untranslatable, for the simple reason that
nobody knows what it refers to :) . It is used in only two
compounds: "motenku|lu", which means "Moten" (the name of the language)
and "motenva", which means "purple" (the colour, "va" means "colour").
Since "ku|lu" is used with names of people or nations to refer to their
language, it has been wondered whether "moten" could refer to a nation, a
tribe, a clan, or whatever group of people, but no people on Earth seem to call
themselves this way. And the colour derives is quite obscure... purple-skinned
people? :)) Yet the only known speaker of this language is human, as far as we
can tell, and doesn't have purple skin.
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.