Thread: words we need
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:29 AM   #17
Stephi_B
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Berlin
Posts: 3,875
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.
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