Appendix:Terms considered difficult or impossible to translate into English

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This index contains terms that are considered “untranslatable”, meaning difficult or impossible to translate directly into an English equivalent.

Terms without an English equivalent[edit]

Term Meaning Language Notes
cafuné The act of fondling someone's hair or scalp. Portuguese Brazilian dialect
saudade, soidade The feeling of missing something or someone. Galician
saudade Portuguese
saudade Spanish
渋い (shibui) Having a simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty (see also Shibui). Japanese
غیرت ‎(ğeyrat) The feeling of needing to control female members of the family and protect them from unwanted sexual attention. Persian also borrowed into other languages
Sitzriese A person who appears tall when seated but short when standing. German
почемучка (počemúčka) A person, often a child, who asks a lot of questions, especially "why" questions (from почему (počemú) "why"). Russian The term gained currency in English after it was named #9 in a BBC list of the top 10 most difficult words (in any language) to translate.
Kummerspeck Excess weight gained as a result of stress-related eating, literally "sorrow-fat". German
skämskudde A real or imagined pillow one hides behind when experiencing vicarious embarrassment due to watching something embarrassing. Swedish
積ん読 (tsundoku) The act of buying a book and leaving it, unread, piled up with other unread books. Japanese