« School Tragedy Averted As Teacher Draws Her Gun on Crazed Gunman | Main | Something About Sales Taxes »
January 10, 2013

Words We Don't Have In English That We Probably Should

Via Instapundit, some good words English just doesn't have word for.

A few examples:

2 Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude

Kind of convoluted but I know what they mean, I think, or at least something like that. I've been in the situation, trying to ingratiate myself to a girl, of suggesting we do something I'm guessing she'd like, and she agrees, thinking that's what I'd like, but in fact neither of us wanted to do this thing at all, so now here we are, trying to mutually please the other and both failing at at and now mutually displeased, eating a joint of mutton at Medieval Times.

Well no not Medieval Times but something.

3 Backpfeifengesicht (German): A face badly in need of a fist

Seems useful but I think maybe spelling it out in words is even better: "A face badly in need of a fist." Not sure I want to cut that down into a one-word thing.

5 Desenrascanço (Portuguese): “to disentangle” yourself out of a bad situation (To MacGyver it)

...

9 Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favor, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favor to be repaid

That idea exists in the English-speaking word but I don't know how you'd say it briefly.

11 L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it

I think maybe we have that, now: "Jerkstore."

22 Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively

Very useful -- we talk about this when we talk about preference cascades.


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:12 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Getcha Pull: "I think the p*** lawyer accusation is really the t ..."

tcn in AK: "Nice. I'm growing out my winter coat. It's shiny. ..."

Hrothgar's Consulting Service,VLLC [/i][/b][/u][/s]: " It's shiny. Posted by: hogmartin at September ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "Never has a right to express her opinion, it would ..."

dartist: "Rusty Nail at September 24, 2018 10:02 PM (SN4NF)H ..."

ALH: "I think I know what the Dems will do next since th ..."

AnonyBotymousDrivel: "Ford isn't some mixed up chick fighting previous d ..."

Infidel Librarian: "Cool picture at the top! ..."

Insomniac: "Hey! ..."

Deplorable Jay Guevara, now with an added spark of divinity, just back from the Mid-Atlantic [/i][/s: "Oops. ..."

Harry Paratestes: "Im all boxed in here ..."

Tonypete: "Fist? ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64