How do you say…?

11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures

There are words and concepts that cannot be easily explained across cultures, Ella Frances Sanders, “Illustrator in Residence”, tells us, and gives us several examples.

We’ve illustrated 11 of these wonderful, elusive, words – which have no single word within the English language that could be considered a direct translation.

Take the German word Waldeinsamkeit:
Alone in the woodsA feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods and a connectedness to nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a whole poem about it.

Or the Indonesian word Jayus:
JayusSlang for someone who tells a joke so badly, that is so unfunny you cannot help but laugh out loud.

We don’t have a word for it

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Why we should invest in artists

Rebekah Joy Plett – The art says it all:

Artists
Invest In ArtistsInvest in artists

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The Book of Legendary Lands

In Brain Pickings, Maria Popova explores Umberto Eco’s book on the greatest maps of imaginary places and why they appeal to us.

Legendary Lands Eco writes in the introduction: Legendary lands and places are of various kinds and have only one characteristic in common: whether they depend on ancient legends whose origins are lost in the mists of time or whether they are an effect of a modern invention, they have created flows of belief. The reality of these illusions is the subject of this book.

The book is “an illustrated voyage into history’s greatest imaginary places, with all their fanciful inhabitants and odd customs, on scales as large as the mythic continent Atlantis and as small as the fictional location of Sherlock Holmes’s apartment. A dynamic tour guide for the human imagination…”

UtopiaUtopia

Legendary Lands

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50 Photos From The Past – How Things Have Changed

These photographers may have never known the significance of the pictures they took, Jake Heppner tells us at Distractify, “or that millions would be marveling at them in the future. From thousands of images, I chose these to give us a rare and fascinating look at how different (and similar) life used to be.”
ScandalousA beach official measures bathing suits to ensure they aren’t too short (1920s)

The IsolaterThis bizarre helmet supposedly helped focus by rendering the wearer deaf, piping them full of oxygen, and limiting their vision to a tiny slit. (1925)

An earlier world

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Reading Scribd’s international reader survey

Data show Germans to be the fastest and Canadians the most committed readers, Alison Flood reports for The Guardian. America comes in 14th place in terms of reading speed.

Scribd infographicCross-border browsing … detail from Scribd’s infographic showing the results of its international reader analysis. Photograph: Scribd

Most popular genre in Uruguay? Romance, says Scribd, with Mexico going for religion, Spain for business, Singapore for biography and history, and the US for – and I find this hard to believe when the books we see dominating charts tend to be erotica and thrillers – arts and music.

Reading around the world

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Quote of the Day

“Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon the absolute truth.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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Alma Alexander
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