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-   -   words we need (http://www.zefrank.com/bulletin_new/showthread.php?t=11808)

Stephi_B 07-30-2007 05:50 AM


Originally Posted by brightpearl (Post 355892)
There's a word in Russian that means tourist sites, like landmarks you'd take a visitor to. I'm too lazy to crack out the Cyrillic at the moment, but it hardly matters -- It's 8 syllables and I understand it's translated syllable by syllable from German. Maybe you or Stephi know it?

My colleague has just written it up for me:

dostoprimechatelnosti --> Sehenswürdigkeit i.e. something worth seeing)

Stephi_B 07-30-2007 06:29 AM

Cool thread! :)

Actually German would be a wonderful language - if it weren't that most of my fellow country(wo)men speak it in such a hard sounding way.

The word Augenblick (can mean among others: moment, instant, wink, jiffy) is beautiful and interesting imo. The translation is eye-view, and this doubling of 'to see' thus includes an active, if not intense, partaking in the referred to 'moment'.

Sehnsucht / sehnsüchtig is another good one, LEO dictionary offers 'aspiration', 'longing' and 'yearning'. But besides 'sehnen' (longing, wishing, yearning) the word also contains 'suchen' (searching), but in the same way 'Sucht' / 'süchtig' (addiction, addicted). No wonder it was quite the keyword of Romanticism.

One of my favourite words is the old-fashioned Kleinod (actually it got voted for as most beautiful endangered German word this year --> a link). It means little-property and the trivial meaning is treasure or gem. But a Kleinod can be basically anything, not necessary precious materially or in the eyes of other people.

Something one cannot translate is the Brazilian-Portuguese tudo bem (all is good, it's alright) as it sums up the total Brazilian philosophy of life in two words. The freshly graduated Brazilian engineer who used to live at our place some months when I was a kid (my stepfather #1 had picked her up at a highway stop, oh he actually often did pick up people and bring them home... not totally selfless in her case - he had a construction firm back then ;)) tried to explain us. But I suppose you have to be born and bred Brazilian to really get the gist.

brightpearl 07-30-2007 07:24 AM


Originally Posted by Stephi_B (Post 355952)
dostoprimechatelnosti --> Sehenswürdigkeit i.e. something worth seeing)

That's it! I should have transliterated the Russki myself for reference, but for some reason I find that rather difficult. Does that have the same "sehnen" root as "sehnsucht"?

We have both of these words in English, but we don't have this interesting nuance:
Mukha (муха) means "fly" (the insect, not the verb) with the stress on the first syllable, and "torture" with the stress on the second.

Sometimes even when you have the words with precisely the same meaning alone, you can't ever achieve the same nuanced context.

Stephi_B 07-30-2007 08:33 AM

^ No these are two different verbs 'sehen' = 'see' and 'sehnen' = 'yearn' etc.

But in the connection of Sehnsucht and Sehenswürdigkeit a very, very German word comes to my mind:


literally far-hurt or far-pain, meaning the (painful or at least very deep) longing to visit foreign lands.

You speak/learn Russian? :) Started to (on my own after I saw my time-schedule would not allow me to visit a proper course at uni) with school books (Cyrillic I knew anyhow - extensive hanging-out with East Europeans since childhood ;)). Unfortunately I came off after being through the first ~ 2/3 of volume 1 (of two). But I get my daily oral understanding lessons here in office when Vanya phones with his wife :D Whenever I have more time (oh when, oh when..) I wanna pick it up again. Such a beautiful language full of colour and nuances! If there weren't this six cases (already struggle with our four sometimes :o being grown up with grammatically quite individual Bavarian).

Love this book here: Dictionary of Russian Slang & Colloquial Expressions
OK in parts quite saucy stuff, particularly the 1001 different ways to use the most notorious 3-letter word хуй, but extremely interesting (if you don't know it already).

lukkucairi 07-30-2007 10:36 AM

I love Fernweh :)

most of my indispensible words are Bahamian/Caribbean in origin - that's where I'm from and where most of my extended family still lives.

"grabalicious" I quoted before, but it's more nuanced than "greedy" - it denotes the kind of person who'll sell their own grandmother if they could turn a profit. "grabaliciousness" within a family is the sort of thing that causes feuds.

"broughtupcy" (brought-up-cy, formed similiarly to bankruptcy) - means, loosely, manners - but more the overall ability to get along in a civilized fashion with other people. If a Bahamian tells you you've got no broughtupcy, they're either joking or you've just committed a serious faux pas.

"boongie" - means arse :D
it's actually a low-level swear word in the Bahamas. A popular song containing the lyrics "shake that boongie" was bleeped out on the radio there :D

we also use words that are technically English, but that are sliding into archaism elsewhere: when was the last time you told someone you were "vexed" (only we pronounce it "wex") - instead of pissed off? There's a popular local newspaper column in Nassau called "Why You Vex?" where people write in to complain about the government and about each other.

"scornful" is also popularly used to denote disgust - "I'm scornful of her kitchen floor. It's filthy."

Stephi_B 07-30-2007 12:57 PM

^ Love how Bahamians/Caribbeans make use of the English language :)

auntie aubrey 07-30-2007 01:40 PM

you know what word i need? i need a word that more correctly applies in circumstances when we (collectively) use "irony" incorrectly.

i need a word that means "improbably coincidental." or "misfortunately contrary."

who's got a word for that?

brightpearl 07-30-2007 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by Stephi_B (Post 355961)

:eek: :eek:
Yes, that word is particularly...um...fertile.

Stephi_B 07-31-2007 07:34 AM

^ Nicely put, Pearl! ;)

craig johnston 07-31-2007 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by auntie aubrey (Post 355996)
i need a word that means "improbably coincidental." or "misfortunately contrary."

who's got a word for that?


brightpearl 08-05-2007 07:54 AM

My son still uses a word that he made up when he was 3 or so:

"actionative," meaning having a lot of action, such as a movie or pretend battle using your mom's childhood Star Wars figures. Like "action-packed" I guess, but I feel "actionative" really rolls off the tongue, and it doesn't make use of the rude hypen.

He also says "hunormous," which is like ginormous, yet seems to apply only to things that are big relative to other examples of themselves, but small compared to him, like spiders and stuff.

craig johnston 08-05-2007 08:04 AM

of course, it works the other way too. german doesn't seem to have a good translation of naughty, quite possibly my favourite word ever (i can't quite decide between naughty and cheeky).

how do they survive?


12"razormix 08-05-2007 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by auntie aubrey (Post 355996)
"improbably coincidental"


12"razormix 08-05-2007 08:26 AM


brightpearl 08-05-2007 08:30 AM

^You're right -- "naughty" has a nuance that "bad" doesn't convey. Harmlessly bad? Something like that. Surely there's an equivalent phrase?

Well, here's a word we have, but that isn't in common usage:
Peloria, meaning something that is supposed to be odd, but which is normal. It's a botanical term -- say a species of flower should have an odd number of petals, but this particular blossom has an even number. It's a peloria, and the adjective is pelorian.

In Japanese, they've adopted the term to apply outside of botany, specifically to the Pelorian movement of the 80's. It sounds kind of deep and interesting, doesn't it? Something to do with obscure German philosophers? Yeah, but actually it has to do with dressing up kittens in absurdly detailed little costumes. With reference to humans, kittens are weird -- no clothes, they don't go to amusement parks, etc. So let's make 'em do just that!!

The Calvin Pelorian Project.

I think it's high time we start using the word in common English. Here's a good example of when there's just no other word that comes close:

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