nakkele (Tulu) - A man who licks whatever the food has been served on.
"plate licker", "pot licker", "pot scraper", "bowl licker", etc. - -sche(discuss) 21:55, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
ondinnonk (Iroquoian) - A word from the Iroquois tribes of North America referring to the soul’s innermost desires and its angelic nature. To follow one’s ondinnonk is thought to often lead to positive and kindly acts.
Wow, that's a great word. I think we should revive this one -- snorker really sounds like what it means. :)
Along similar lines, I think we should revive the early-English term ugsome. If I've read correctly, it used to be that ugly was the adverb, and ugsome was the adjective. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 01:53, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
wantok (Tok Pisin) - This word refers to people who speak the same language as you do and “have some claim on you.” It translates literally as “one talk” and usually includes people of your family, village, clan or larger geographic area.
lingam (Sanskrit) - “The symbol of the erect penis as an object of veneration” (Rheingold 87). A lingam is an object of worship, often connected to the Hindu god Shiva, and you can find lingam statues draped with flower garlands in many Indian villages.
pana poʻo (Hawaiian) - To scratch one's head in order to recover a memory.
Pukui-Elbert dictionary says it's just "tap somebody's head" (sum of parts), and that it's a rude gesture.--Makaokalani (talk) 09:18, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
ΑἰδώςWP Except if you count 'Aidos' as a translation, which is kinda cheating. Hyarmendacil (talk) 09:24, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
This is a personal name, right? I'm not aware of those ever being untranslatable. In this case the translation is, as you note, Aidos. - -sche(discuss) 00:51, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
कल्प (kálpa) (Sanskrit) - Time passing on a cosmic scale.
The above definition is ambiguous. Scientifically, you would say 'cosmological/cosmic time(/scale/frame)' or 'geological time(/scale/frame)'. You could also merely say [Cosmic time]. And we have plenty of large time units: aeon, superaeon, etc. Either way I don't think it qualifies. Hyarmendacil (talk) 08:52, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Seems far too jocular to have the same meaning. Khalas' description strikes me as having a connotation that would be characteristic of a very serious conclusion like that of John 19:30. — C M B J 05:20, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Our entry has no trouble translating this. - -sche(discuss) 06:01, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
kaval (Bulgarian) - Originally “Kaval” means a flute-like instrument, native to Bulgaria and several other Balkan countries. It is often made of wood. In the last 20 or so years the word “kaval” has gained several other meanings in addition to its original one. 1. One who performs fellatio. 2. The fellating act. 3. An extremely stupid person.
baraka (Arabic) - A gift of spiritual energy that can be transferred to others.
Sounds like a fancy description for a blessing really. Better have a native or near-native speaker check. — Ungoliant(Falai) 00:30, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, means blessing. --Z 11:11, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
inshallah (Arabic) - While it can be translated literally as “if Allah wills,” the meaning of this phrase differs depending on the speaker’s tone of voice. It can be a genuine sentiment, such as when talking to an old friend and parting with “We’ll meet again, inshallah,” or it can be used as a way to tacitly imply you actually aren’t planning to do something. An example would be if someone proposes a meeting at 4 p.m., and you know you won’t be able to make it on time. You can say, “I’ll see you at 4, inshallah,” meaning that you’ll only make it on time if Allah wills it to happen.
Used by Muslims in English-speaking countries. God willing may be an acceptable translation, although it's worth noting that some Christians and some Muslims do not agree that Allah and God may be acceptably interchanged in spite of the prevailing Arabic definition. — C M B J 01:40, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
potlatch - term widely adopted in American English
potlatch (Chinook) - “An opulent ceremonial feast (among certain North American Indian peoples of the north-west coast) at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige."
agent provocateur (French) - Traditionally, an agent provocateur is a person employed by the police or other entity to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act. More generally, the term may refer to a person or group that seeks to discredit or harm another by provoking them to commit a wrong or rash action.
arriviste (French) - A person who uses any means available to realize his or her desires. One who attains sudden success through shady means. A person who quickly achieved success but still lacks respect.
We use the same word in English. Ƿidsiþ 07:20, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
bêtise (French) - A small or silly act of naughtiness by a child. These are minor annoyances that do not generally warrant punishment by themselves. Several bêtises will probably warrant disciplinarian action.
Again, easy to translate. J'ai fait une bêtise = I've done something stupid. Ƿidsiþ 07:20, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
bon vivant (French) - A bon vivant is a person who is living the good life. Someone who lives luxuriously and enjoys good food and drink.
Doesn’t look like it’s a verb. — Ungoliant(Falai) 15:32, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
gâchis (French) - This one means 'a wasted opportunity.' Specifically it means an opportunity that was wasted by ineptness being hurled at it from all directions.
User feedback: "Gâchis" is written with a circumflex and it doesn't specifically concern a wasted "opportunity"; it's more like a messed up situation or thing.— C M B J 09:20, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Both we and the French Wiktionary reckon that this can be translated by a single word. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:27, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Alternate version: "A good opportunity wasted by staggering levels of incompetence (from multiple sources) evidenced in its implementation."— C M B J 02:10, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
n'importe quoi (French) - [a] Anything. [b] Something (either an object or a concept or an idea or a situation) has no purpose, a hodge-podge of stuff that doesn't really fit together and doesn't make much sense. If a journal article is n'importe quoi, it means it's garbage without rhymes or reasons, with no logic in it, no sense. If I'm telling you to stop doing "n'importe quoi", I'm telling you to stop doing senseless, impulsive action and that it is clear you have no idea what you are doing.
brav (German) - An adjective most commonly used to commend children. It describes several positive qualities in a child: they listen to their parents, know how to behave themselves, are well brought up overall, are pleasant and easy to take care of, do not cause trouble at home or at school, and study for school by themselves without needing further encouragement.
pretty easily translated with good, well-behaved, etc.; not applied only to children. —Angr 18:42, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Compare also Dutch braaf. —CodeCat 11:47, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Fernweh (German) - The opposite of being homesick, it's the longing to leave and break free, the longing to be somewhere else.
Alternate version: A strong longing to be away, to go somewhere.— C M B J 03:55, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Excluded at this time. — C M B J 03:44, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I've seen farsick and farsickness used to translate/calque this, but checking Google Books, I find they're rarer than I had thought. - -sche(discuss) 08:31, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
fremdschämen (German) - Vicarious embarrassment; historically experienced by anxious, awkward, oversensitive types; may be associated with "cringe comedy" and live performances that aren't going well.
Whoever wrote that has a poor grasp of parts of speech. The noun they're defining is Fremdscham, and English speakers do seem to speak of "vicarious embarrassment" often enough that I would consider Fremdscham translatable. The verb fremdschämen, on the other hand, is something I would consider untranslatable, since "to feel vicariously embarrassed" seems both too rare a collocation and too much of a step-by-step explanation of things to count as a simple translation. - -sche(discuss) 03:21, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Geisterfahrer (German) - Literally “ghost driver”. One who drives the wrong way up a motorway.
In English we do not consider the driver to be a ghost, perhaps confused, lost, disoriented, or even intoxicated, but still a wrong-way driver (). Such drivers are common and we do have a simple term. . . 18.104.22.168 18:44, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough; wrong-way driver gets over 3000 b.g.c hits. Can it be added in English, or is it too SOP? —Angr 09:54, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
If this can be added, which seems likely, then I'll suggest removing Geisterfahrer as translatable. — C M B J 07:37, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
If these are not acceptable translations, then Russian заяц (zajac) should be added too, as it means the same thing. --Vahag (talk) 21:41, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Nah, I guess you're right. Fare dodger especially is a good translation. I've added both Schwarzfahrer and заяц to the translation table at fare dodger. —Angr 22:15, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Nearly synonymous would be キセル/煙管, cheat(ing) on one's train fare. The original meaning is tobacco pipe, and strangely the word for smokestack, 煙突, can also mean "carrying a taxi passenger without turning on the meter" Would either of those count? Maybe the first one is covered by "fare dodging." --Haplology (talk) 14:57, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Fare dodging sounds like a good translation for キセル/煙管, so I'd say it doesn't count. I can't think of an English translation for 煙突 but I'm not really familiar with taxi drivers' jargon. German also has a verb schwarzfahren "to dodge one's fare, to 'fare-dodge', to travel as a fare dodger". —Angr 15:39, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The kanji 只 isn't used much these days, so my sense is that the lemma should be at ただ乗り, with 只乗り given as an alt spelling. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 22:31, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I found 只乗り first but changed to ただ乗り when I saw what you just said, it isn't actually used. The former exists in the EDICT dictionary though but the latter doesn't. --Anatoli(обсудить/вклад) 22:43, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Torschlusspanik (German) – The fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages – literal translation “gate-closing panic”
User feedback: "Can have a slightly chauvinist undertone, i.e. it’s usually applied to women in their mid-thirties anxious to “bag” a husband before it’s too late to have children."— C M B J 07:36, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
English definition appears to be a derivative. — C M B J 07:50, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Treppenwitz (German) - In German, this is literally “the wit of the staircase,” or the witty remark that occurs to you after you’ve left an argument you’ve lost. It’s a feeling everyone knows rather well. There is also a phrase for this phenomenon in French: l’esprit d’escalier, or “the spirit of the staircase.” The French writer Denis Diderot came up with it during the Enlightenment, and it’s still used today — I think the pain of coming up with a comeback too late is a universal human burden that survives the ages.
Again, this page isn't "Terms without a one-word translation in English". These are easily translated into English as "the day before yesterday" and "the day after tomorrow", even without Ungoliant's archaic finds. —Angr 18:42, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
"Day after tomorrow" isn't thought of as an independent term, at least not according to our current entry, which is a criterion of consideration. — C M B J 03:37, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I was tempted to call that one a direct translation, but kleptomania is kleptomania in Indonesian. Klepto-mania also denotes a compulsive behavior (i.e., one that often causes immense internal conflict) whereas those who go around stealing objects of little value often do so for pleasure and without any remorse whatsoever. In any event, the dictionary entry for this term isn't very remarkable, so there's probably a dozen or two Urban Dictionary-esque English terms that are equivalent. — C M B J 07:34, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Kleptomania isn’t just a psychological mania. Outside medical usage it’s also used for stealing for pleasure. Also: pinching. — Ungoliant(Falai) 11:03, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
craic (Irish) - Fun, amusement; entertaining company or conversation.
User feedback: "As an avid student of Irish, it grieves me to say that "craic" is not in fact Irish in origin at all. The Gaelicized spelling is a recent development of the past few decades. The OED defines "crack" as "chat, talk of news" and dates the word to 1450. It probably entered Irish popular usage through the Northern Irish dialect of English."— C M B J 08:11, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
che palle (Italian) - Literally “what balls”. Used to express frustration, annoyance, and a general “ugh”. Its English meaning is close to “this sucks“. “Joe, go take out the trash!” “che PALLE…” *mutters under breath*.
One of the sources also talked about an element of corporate distrust. If someone wants to make a case from that angle then I'm willing to hear it, but otherwise this is excluded as translatable. — C M B J 03:56, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
fattapposta (Italian) - ‘made-on-purpose’: passkey of Italian conversation, can mean any object, especially when clarified by a gesture
Besides those terms, English also uses "bridge holiday" and plain "bridge" in this way. - -sche(discuss) 21:45, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Uovo di Colombo (Italian) - A simple, obvious, idea that doesn’t occur to the person whom it would most benefit. Literally “Egg of Colombus”. After his return from America in 1493, Columbus was invited to a dinner in his honor by Cardinal Mendoza. Here are some people tried to downplay his achievements, saying that the discovery of the New World was not so difficult, and that anyone could have succeeded in doing it. Hearing this, Columbus challenged the diners to solve a simple problem: make an egg stand upright on the table without using any kind of help or aid. Several attempts were made, but none were successful. Finally convinced that it was an insoluble problem, the diners returned the egg to Columbus. He put a slight dent at the end of the egg by tapping it against the table, and the egg stood upright. When bystanders protested, saying that they could have done the same, Columbus said: “The difference, my friends, is that you would have done it, but I have.”
It's the formal plain form of いただく, which is the humble form of "receive." It's just "I/We humbly receive this," which I don't think is unusual. --Haplology (talk) 12:26, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
猫舌 literally "cat tongue," someone who can't drink hot drinks (until they cool down a bit.) --Haplology (talk) 13:56, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
jinji[script needed] (Japanese) - A special form of honor.
So it's special, but what is it? I can only find a few "jinji"s, and none of them are any kind of honor. I call bogus term. --Haplology (talk) 12:26, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
User feedback: "First thing that came to mind for me was the Japanese word "jingi", as described by Tarantino on the director's commentary for Reservoir Dogs: (from IMDB) On the commentary track for the 2002 10th Anniversary Edition DVD of Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino insists that viewers who don't understand why Mr. Orange tells Mr. White that he is an undercover cop (knowing full well that Mr. White is likely to kill him upon finding out) have not understood the film. Mr. Orange tells Mr. White, who has acted as his protector throughout the film, the truth because he feels that he owes it to him as a matter of honor. Tarantino actually described it as something beyond honor, best summed up by the Japanese word "jingi" that has no English equivalent. Having witnessed White sacrifice everything for him; White kills two very good friends of his to protect Orange, taking a bullet and willing to stay behind and lose out on the diamonds and go to prison rather than leave Orange for dead...Orange feels compelled to do likewise. Orange does not reveal the truth until the final moment because it is only then that he is free to do so without forsaking his duty as a police officer. Now that Joe Cabot - the man he was sent in to get - is dead, Orange's mission is over."— C M B J 00:35, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
The intended term then would probably be 仁義 (jingi). That said, there's not too much about it that's terribly "special" other than that it's just not English -- I find that a lot of people ascribe some sort of mystical quality to Japanese terms when in actuality the meanings can be quite prosaic. Roughly paraphrasing my JA-JA dictionary, it basically means "love for people and things + doing right for the greater good", or "honor or duty among a specific group, such as merchants, tradesmen, or gamblers". The JA-EN entry glosses this as humanityandjustice for one sense, and duty for the other. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 02:04, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
kaizen (Japanese) - Small incremental changes that add up to large improvements over time.
meinichi (Japanese) - Literally “Day of Honor.” Word used to describe the anniversary of someone’s death.
I've had friends refer to this in English using the borrowed German term Jahreszeit (with various interesting phonetic spellings). -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 03:58, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Were they Jewish friends? Then they were almost certainly using not German Jahreszeit, which means "season" and wouldn't make sense anyway, but Yiddish יאָרצײַט (yortsayt), anglicized as yahrzeit with a wide variety of alternative spellings, which means exactly "anniversary of someone's death". —Angr 10:00, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
dugnad (Norwegian) - A social activity where a group of friends or neighbors get together to perform a large task. Similar to the old practice of barn raising in North America except it can be any task, not just building a barn.
Alternate: "A planned (semi-)volunteer work session in/for a community or local interest group."— C M B J 08:28, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Is it really an English word? Seems to be just a transliteration, and I think this actually proves that it doesn't have any equivalent in the language... --Z 16:13, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Sounds like another example like Schadenfreude, shlimazel, and sisu already being discussed above. The fact that a lot of these words with no obvious English analogues get picked up and used in English means we have to start working on boundaries. I really don't want to see déjà vu or chutzpah here on the grounds that we don't have a word for it in English. I say, if the English loanword meets CFI by being used (and not merely mentioned) 3 times in durably archived sources over at least a year, the foreign word can no longer be said to have no English translation, because it has become its own English translation. —Angr 16:53, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
This calls to my gulliver just a skosh about something in one of Bill Bryson's books, that English is a language that waits in dark alleys to hit other languages over the head, and then goes through their pockets for loose vocabulary. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:54, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
The original quote, which is from James Nicoll and not Bill Bryson, can be found on my Wikipedia userpage. —Angr 19:29, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I don’t think it’s just a transliteration. Enough Google Books results show this word used in English text as if it were any other. One can’t reasonably expect English to have a native word describing a concept unique to Persian society. — Ungoliant(Falai) 18:49, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it seems it meets the CFI. --Z 19:07, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Say, what is the rule on commonly transliterated words from non-English alphabets, like konichiwa? bd2412T 00:07, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Alternate version: Literally “to disentangle oneself” from a bad situation, this is the art of slapping together a solution to a problem at the last minute, with no advanced planning, and no resources. Think “MacGyver”. An ability highly prized in Portuguese culture.— C M B J 02:58, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
pesamenteiro (Portuguese) - It is someone who goes to a funeral, or the house of the mourning family, for the food and drink that is expected to be served instead of to offer their condolences.
"pesamenteiro -ra (m., f.) one who habitually joins groups of mourners at the home of a deceased person, ostensibly to offer condolences but in reality to partake of the refreshments which he expects will be served." A Portuguese-English Dictionary: Revised. James Lumpkin Taylor, Priscilla Clark Martin. Stanford University Press. 1970. ISBN: 978-0804704809. — C M B J 04:18, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
saudade (Portuguese) – The feeling of longing for something or someone who you love and which is lost. (See also w:Saudade). 
User feedback: "Portuguese - saudade: sometimes translated as ‘nostalgia’ but thats not quute correct. Saudade refers to the intense feeling of missing someone who is absent, be it a loved one (deceased or absent) a pet, whatever. It can refer to a place, activity, time period…"— C M B J 07:49, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
User feedback: "I support Luisa’s suggestion. This is such a key Portuguese word. Any Portuguese will tell you that this is what defines us: the ability to understand what “saudade” means. A sense of something missing; missing someone, missing an experience, a feeling, a place. Attached to very melancholic tones; very often associated to the traditional music of Fado."— C M B J 07:49, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
тоска (toská) (Russian) - A great spiritual anguish, usually without any cause or condition. Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
I'm a little surprised on this one since it was translated by Vladimir Nabokov in what is/was said to be the best English version of Russian literature's most seminal work, Eugene Onegin. Let's hold out for two concurring opinions just to be sure that nothing is being overlooked. — C M B J 09:29, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
I confirm, the description is exaggerated. --Vahag (talk) 10:15, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
разблюто (razbljúto) - no demonstrated use in source language
разблюто (razbljúto) (Russian) - This word, pronounced ros-blee-OO-toe, describes the feeling that a person (generally meant to be a man) has for the person who he once loved, but now no longer loves.
Editor's note: "I got the words for this entry, including razbliuto, from They Have a Word for It, a book about words by Howard Rheingold. It seems his information came from a book called HodgePodge, by J Bryan in 1986. Before that, it looks like it came from a mistaken translation and conglomeration of two words, one of which means 'a lost love' and the other meaning 'whore'. However, it seems since it's only English linguists who use the word"— C M B J 08:29, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Judging by a Google Video search, such holes are often called "iceholes" in English. That collocation isn't idiomatic, but it occurs so regularly as the term for the holes that, by the standard we seem to be using for determining whether or not things are translatable, I'd say про́рубь is translatable. - -sche(discuss) 02:46, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
No, just someone with bad luck. There's a saying that Yiddish has two words for perpetually unlucky people: shlemiel and shlimazel. The shlemiel is the man who spills his soup, and the shlimazel is the man he spills it on. —Angr 16:17, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Ooops. I actually meant this for luftmensch. Sorry. — Ungoliant(Falai) 18:39, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
trepverter (Yiddish) - A witty reposte you only think of when it's too late to use.