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Every language has words that can’t be translated directly into other languages. We have collected some of the most interesting  and accurate words that can’t be translated into English.

The 15 words are:

  • Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan) – A look between two people that suggests an unspoken, shared desire.
  • Jayus (Indonesian) – A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.
  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit) – To go outside to check if anyone is coming.
  • Kyoikumama (Japanese) – A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement.
  • Tartle (scottish) – The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.
  • Prozvonit (Czech) – To call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money.
  • Tingo (Pascuense) – The act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.
  • L’appel du vide (French) – Describes the instinctive urge to jump from high places.
  • Duende (Spanish) – The mysterious power of a work of art to deeply move a person.
  • Kintsukuroi (Japanese) – To repair with gold. Understanding that a piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
  • Lagom (Swedish) – Enough ,sufficient, adequate, or just the right amount.
  • Age-otori (Japanese) – To look worse after a haircut.
  • Culaccino (Italian) – The mark left on a table by a cold glass.
  • Komorebi (Japanese) – When sunlight filters through the trees – the interplay between the light and the leaves.


Do you know any foreign words that have no direct translation in English? Share them below.


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by Nik Andreev

Nik is the content manager at Wolfestone. He blogs about social media and international digital marketing. He also likes graphics design and video editing. When not creating exciting content, he spend his time reading Sci-Fi and drinking coffee.

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