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19 emotions for which there are no english words [infographic]

01/12/13 , , , , , , , , ,


via popsci:

[Design student Pei-Ying] Lin solicited the list of “unspeakable” words from colleagues at London’s Royal College of Art, and found that their definitions in English usually came down to something like, “it is a kind of (emotion A), close to (emotion B), and somehow between (emotion C) and (emotion D).”

Next, to visualize the relationship between the foreign emotion-words and English ones, Lin used a linguistics model to map out five basic emotions (large yellow circles), along with several descriptive words related to each (smaller green circles). Finally, she used her sources’ descriptions to place the new/foreign words on the English map.

click on the map above for a closer look or go here for the fancier version.  in the meantime, here are a few examples:

Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love

Gezellifheid (Dutch): Comfort and coziness of being at home, with friends, with loved ones, or general togetherness

Saudade (Portuguese): A somewhat melancholic feeling of incompleteness. Longing for something that might never return. Yearning.

Tocka (Russian): Great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. Ache of soul, a longing with nothing to long for

Viitsima (Estonian): The feeling of slight laziness, can’t be bothered by anything. Don’t want to work nor go anywhere.


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Thanks for sharing useful list of unspeakable words. Living in Amsterdam I really understood about being cozy.



no prob



That is one downside I’ve always found to studying other languages – it can make writing in your native one frustrating when you can’t succinctly express these sorts of concepts!



didn’t think about that. i say keep using the foreign words even in your native circles. who knows? maybe they’ll get added to the local vernacular someday.



Hehe. True enough – push those loan-words!



I saw this, minus the graphic on Leigh Bardugo’s tumbler. It’s awesome. Totally inspiring.






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