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Untranslatable Words Card Set

A set of 20 cards which explain the meaning behind untranslatable words from around the world.

There are lots of moods, needs and feelings that our own language has not yet properly pinned down. The perfect word - even if it comes from abroad - helps us explain ourselves to other people, and its existence quietly reassures us (and everyone else) that a state of mind is not really rare, just rarely spoken of. The right word brings dignity to our troubles and helps us identify more accurately what we really like or find annoying.

We've gathered together our favourite words from the world's languages and married them up with complementary images to create cards that bring some of our most important feelings into focus. Words featured include:

  • SAUDADE (PORTUGUESE) – A bitter-sweet melancholic yearning for something beautiful that is now gone: perhaps a love affair, a childhood home, a flourishing business. There is pain yet also a pleasure that such loveliness once graced our lives.
  • JAYUS (INDONESIAN) – A lame joke that nonetheless elicits good-natured amusement – rather than irritation – at its sheer innocent silliness. The ability to treat an idiotic remark as a Jayus is a sign of our wisdom and kindness; evidence that we can accept that our minds are low as well as high.
  • TORSCHLUSSPANIK (GERMAN) – Literally: gate-closing panic. The anxious, claustrophobic feeling that opportunities and options are shutting down; you have missed the boat, you have to get a grip, you are getting too old.

To read more on the Nature of Language and Emotions, visit our blog The Book of Life.

20 cards in box | 159mm x 115mm x 20mm.

Untranslatable Words Card Set

£12.00
Availability In stock
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