Words Beyond Translation: Lagom

Words Beyond Translation: Lagom

Skinnskatteberg, Sweden The Swedes are well-known for their minimalist, functional, and sustainable approach to living, and this is reflected in the untranslatable word lagom. Lagom means not too much and not too little: it’s just the right amount, and as the Swedish...
Words Beyond Translation: Saudade

Words Beyond Translation: Saudade

No one had to teach me the meaning of saudade, because I’ve intimately understood it since I could speak. Saudade is a famous Portuguese word: countless articles have been written trying to capture its essence, but none of them have quite explained how it makes me...
Words Beyond Translation: Kefi

Words Beyond Translation: Kefi

I experienced kefi before I even knew it was a word. Kefi accurately captures Greek culture as I’ve experienced it. The word roughly translates to: the spirit of joy, passion, euphoria, enthusiasm, exuberance, frenzy. It’s that overpowering emotion you have when you...
Words Beyond Translation: Rasa

Words Beyond Translation: Rasa

JAVA, INDONESIA As a writer and a traveler, I scavenge the world for words that carry far more meaning than their direct translation. Laden with context, multifaceted, and tailored to culture, these words can only be understood when we experience them. During my visit...
What Travel Taught Me About Love

What Travel Taught Me About Love

One year ago, I sat down to write an article about love. After countless hours spent blankly staring at a computer screen, I accepted the reality of why I couldn’t write the piece: I didn’t know enough about love outside of my own personal experience. So, I decided to...