In Other Words

In Other Words

A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World

Book - 2004
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When ideas fail, words come in handy. But sometimes you canʼt find the right word, and what you want to say canʼt be found in the dictionary. English has its limitations, but the expression youʼre searching for may exist in another language. In Other Words is a unique collection of well-known and absolutely obscure “untranslatables”—linguistic gems that convey a feeling or notion with satisfying precision yet resist simple translation. This quirky lexicon of hard-to-translate words gives the reader a new way to look at the world and how words relate to us.
Publisher: New York : Walker Pub., c2004
ISBN: 9780802714442
Branch Call Number: 413.21 Moor
Characteristics: 127 p. : ill. ; 20 cm


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KCLSRecommends Mar 20, 2014

Amazing how many words there are in other languages with no good equivalent in English! Such as the French who say "horripiler" which means 'to make your hair stand on end'! Or the Germans who say "weltschmerz" to indicate 'world-weariness' or despair with, well, everything. Meanwhile, the Dutch say "uitwaaien" for that rare joy of 'walking in the wind for fun.' And, continuing in perambulatory fashion, the Finnish have the word "hankikanto" for the 'frozen crust on the surface of snow that is strong enough to walk on.' And the Japanese have the nearly untranslatable "mon-no-aware" meaning 'enjoying the sadness of life': that bittersweet, vaguely poetic feeling you get around dusk, say, on a long train journey, looking out at the driving rain... (ah me, alas!) While the Greeks say "meraki" to describe when someone does something with soul, creativity or love -- when you put 'something of yourself' into what you're doing.


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