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INFOGRAPHIC: There Are No Words (In English At Least) For These 21 Emotions
January 11, 2013
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Have you ever felt something that you just didn't have a word to express?

You know, like that feeling of melancholy incompleteness, where you start longing for something that might never return. It's - what's it called? Oh yes, "saudade."

If you don't know that word, that may be because it's Portuguese.

Sometimes there is just no English word for a specific emotion, a fact that design student Pei-Ying Lin decided to investigate via this infographic, originally published by PopSci.

It tracks a bunch of emotions that are named in other languages but don't have a direct translation in English, and places them in the context of emotions we do have words for.

Some of the emotions are on the sad side (there's a Russian word on there that translates as "Great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. Ache of soul, a longing with nothing to long for").

But others are much more positive, like Hygge, the Danish word for "comfort and coziness. The feeling of enjoying food and drink with friends and family." Or a Japanese word that means "The bubbly feeling of the moment of falling in love."

As The Atlantic points out, the words on the infographic are by no means a full list of emotions that don't exist in the English language.

They offer a few more, including:

Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut

Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute

Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods

Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky

Depending on who you are, you may have experienced one or all of those emotions at some time in your life. And now, if you can learn to pronounce them, they have names.


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