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9 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures

Indeed, even the best wordsmiths have instants when they can’t bargain on the right selection of vocabulary. It happens mainly when you want to define any feeling or inner condition. It also happens when you are not sure what you are exactly trying to say. Mostly while constructing any artistic poetry, such issues arise.

Many times you might have experienced any literature or content having words from different languages. This is because, across societies, culture and dialects and even religious customs have some words and regularly ideas that cannot be exactly translated into other languages. While making a translation or interpretation, such terms lose their essence and value. In many cases the transformation of words into other languages, the meanings become mysterious.

In this article, you will be reading about some artistic words from German, Arabic and Persian languages that are actually untranslatable to English context. Most of the time, these words are used as they are in English poetry and literature.



The word means the sensation of the presence of loneliness in the woods or forest or solitude of the forest. It is a noun and generally used in poetry in English.


Kummerspeck is the name for additional obese increased by emotive eating. Precisely, the excessive consumption individuals do in periods of anxiety or grief.

It is also a name of a dish having bacon as the main ingredient. So it can be called grief bacon. It is a noun comprised of two words Kummer and Speck meaning sorrow and bacon or fat respectively.

An example of using it in a sentence: Kummerspeck following marriage breakup.


It means the feeling inside you the time you are at home and wants to visit other countries. Instead of missing your republic or nation, you want to go outside just to visit the world. In short, its meaning is to feel homesick from outside. Wanderlust is a word close to its meaning.



This word states the optimistic statement that you will be dead before somebody you love deeply, just because you cannot stand to live without that person. If you translate it into different perspective or linguistic, you would come off with the word suicidal to express extreme obsequious or love that continues beyond the grave.

Dam khafeef/ Ta’qeel:

Dam khafeef is used for light blood and Ta’qeel is for heavy blood. Both words label one’s nature, character or conduct through their blood constitution. But it is not that simple, these terms do not refer to ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ DNA forms, and also not the density. The terms state the level of hemoglobin. If it is light then you are happy-go-lucky with a tempting humor. On the other hand, if your witticisms are irritating then you are a ‘heavy-blooded’ or unbearable person.


This word is used in Urdu and Persian dialects as well. Meaning is ‘god-willing’ or ‘if god is willing’. It is comprised of two words Insh meaning will and Allah mean god. But according to Arabic linguistic term, Allah does not exactly mean god because Allah has no plural, no gender especially female and nobody.

The term defines especial God power behind every small or big task. For Christian & Muslim, this word becomes a shrewd byword for buying time & options.



The word translation is the chattering and babbling of teeth in the cold or rage. Sometimes it also refers to the sound produced by teeth chattering. It can be used as a noun and as a verb.


Persian “Taarof” word is also present in Urdu and Hindi dictionary. It is a commonly spoken word of these three languages and it is a noun.

In Persian dialect, the term means accepting someone’s warmth and hospitality. It is particularly used in terms of food and drink. It also facilitates to show the appropriate level of societal respect and admiration in different circumstances.

In Urdu and Hindi language, the term has a slightly different context. It means to introduce someone with respect or to ask for someone`s introduction to pay respect. In short, we can say that it refers to introduction with all due respect.


This word is used in Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Turkish languages. The meaning of this word remains same in all mentioned dialects. It is a noun and an adverb and used as a female name as well.

It refers to many interconnected meanings which are affection, love, attitude, honor, proud, and fragile. As a name, it refers to an honorable attitude that has a touch of love and simplicity. As a word it commonly means proud on anything decent or show of arrogance on something which you really have.

Author Bio:

Anna Marsh is an assistant manager supply chain in one of the leading FMCG organization and offers Assignment help deal to students online. Her main objective is to facilitate students with substantial information about academic essay writing and other assignment preparation help to enhance their knowledge. To connect with him, follow via Google+ | Twitter | Facebook.

9 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures

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