Words Beyond Translation: Retrouvailles

Words Beyond Translation: Retrouvailles

When I think of a reunion, I imagine two long-lost lovers running towards one another, limbs akimbo as fireworks play in the background. But in reality, encounters between loved ones are much simpler and meaningful than that. Rooted in the word “retrouver,” which...
Words Beyond Translation: Vale la Pena

Words Beyond Translation: Vale la Pena

Lazio, Italy Vale la pena is an Italian expression that has a direct translation but, as a native Italian speaker, I can tell you that it’s not quite the same. Vale la pena means “it’s worth it,” yet there is a keyword in the Italian phrase that is lost in the English...
Words Beyond Translation: Waldeinsamkeit

Words Beyond Translation: Waldeinsamkeit

Colorado, United States I recently came to learn of a German word that perfectly captures one’s deep and intimate connection with nature. Waldeinsamkeit roughly translates to “the feeling of being alone in the woods.” The structure of the word says it all: “wald”...
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...
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