Foreign phrases we need to adopt 

Ever needed a word or phrase to sum up something, but find that it doesn’t exist? There are certain “untranslatable” words whose meaning cannot describe their experiences in English. There are some very clever ones from different languages, that seem to sum up nicely what we’re missing. Instead of findingg an English equivalent, here are the original words p:

1. Ti voglio Bueno (Italian) 

Ever wanted to say “I love you as a friend” without the awkward need? This is the platonic form of “I love you”. It translates roughly to “I wish you well”, and is said to family, relatives, friends and possibly colleagues. I’m sure  

2. Bakkushan (Japanese) 

A woman who is attractive when viewed from behind. Similar to a butter face, the bakkushab is a common stereotype placed on women. As a common trope in Film and TV, Bakkushans tend to have am amazing body , but terrible face. That’s why it seems to hard to believe Ms. Vellum from the PowerPuff Girls was actually beautiful, since the audience ever saw her face. 

3. Nunchi (Korean) 

Someone who avoids being punched in the face. Kind of like a passive pacifist. In Korean philosophy, it means to listen to others and gauge their moods. So it’s essentially to avoid being an insensitive prick. 

4. Fura-fura (japanese) 

The onomatopoeia of girls’ skirts ruffling (yes, really). The Japanese have some unusual phonetd sounds for things . Just resist the urge to actually say it (especially if you’re not Asian). 

5. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan) 

A shared, common desire two people have but neither will act on it. Like the two who fancy each other, but neither will make the first move. My best friend is rather like that at times. 

6. Greng-jai (Thai)

When you don’t want to ask someone a favour because you think it will inconvenience them. This is especially prominent with certain people e.g. Man in a wheelchair, woman with a crying baby, “overworked” teacher marking hundreds of essays. 

7. L’esprit de l’escalier (French) 

When you think of the perfect comeback to an argument too late. Afterwit is the closest word to translating  this, only this can sometimes mean a lack of forethought. An English slang equivalent is “staircase wit”. 

8. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)

When you keep looking at your watch/ checking your phone/ looking outside the window to see if someone is coming. It’s a feeling of anticipation, anxious to see someone. 

9. Luftmensch (Yiddish)

The academic, artists or writer who is romantic and dreamy. The term roughly means “air person”, so people are have their head in the clouds and do not focus on practical matters like earning money. 


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