Not All Languages Have The Same Words

Do you ever feel like you're in a specific situation, and although there should be a word for it - one just doesn’t exist?

Do you ever feel like you're in a specific situation, and although there should be a word for it - one just doesn’t exist?

Language isn’t perfect and doesn’t cover every single possible situation but what is extremely interesting is how different languages have covered different gaps. No one will be able to speak every language and see all the differences but we can share some of the great examples from other languages that don’t make an appearance in English; even though they probably should.

It is worth mentioning that most times the situation, feeling or idea of the word can be conveyed in the majority of languages but there is a beautiful simplicity in having the ability to use one word instead of a whole sentence or paragraph as well as giving you an insight into the culture.

1) Backpfiefengesicht

Ever seen a face that just looks like it needs a punch? Backpfiefengesicht is the German word for that feeling. It is not necessarily out of spite or anger but the face is just extremely punchable. A direct translation of the word can be taken as “Slappable face”

2) Na’eeman (نعيماً)

This Arabic word is used when someone gets a new haircut, shave or shower and you are “blessing” them. A common interpretation of the word is “congratulations on that shave or shower” which sounds very strange in English. But essentially, it’s a gesture of goodwill and acknowledgment.

3)Zugzwang

This is another German word that the English language really needs. It is used to describe a situation where you are under a lot of pressure and stress but you need to make an effective strategic decision. It originated from the feelings chess players had when they needed to make the best possible decision under pressure, but has spread to use in any pressure situation when a decision needs to be made.

4) To’oborni (تقبرني)

This word literally translates to - “you bury me”, and it is effectively a method of telling someone that you love them so much you would rather die and let them bury you than lose them. The translation makes it sound a lot darker then it is. Families use it when talking to their kids or significant other in an upbeat and lighthearted way.

5)ERKLÄRUNGSNOT

“Explanation emergency” This German word describes a situation everyone has been in at some point of their life when they said something or did something that instantly needed explaining. it’s that moment of panic as you realize what is happening is exactly what this word describes.

By having a good grasp of both languages in a text, the translators at 7G Media are able to translate professionally even if the word doesn’t exist, by using phrases or other words to get the meaning as close as possible.

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