Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

14 Untranslatable Words About Love

Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, I though I’d dedicate a post to Cupid and his well-aimed (well…sometimes) arrows. Before I moved to Japan, I confess that my opinion of Valentine’s Day had flat-lined at “meh”…now, though, it just means that my desk disappears under a mountain of homemade chocolates, cookies, and other deliciously unhealthy sweets from my students. It’s a pretty good development all around.

I’ve written about how much I love untranslatable words in the past; the fact that a feeling is familiar to people across cultures and continents and yet is only expressed in a certain language is fascinating to me. On Valentine’s Day, emotions run a headier, more dramatic spectrum than most other days of the year, and there are plenty of foreign language words to describe all of those feelings. Here are fourteen of my favorite untranslatable words that have to do with love in some way or another. Some are about the euphoria of falling of love, some are about the depths of heartbreak, but most are feelings that, I’m willing to bet, we’ve felt at one time or another.

1.)   Forelsket (Norwegian) – Let’s start off with something positive. Forelsket describes how you feel when you first begin to fall in love. It’s that euphoric feeling of walking on air, when you view your paramour through rose-colored glasses and are convinced that the sun shines out of their posterior. All you want to do is gaze into each other’s eyes longingly and forget the rest of the world exists.

Continue reading 14 Untranslatable Words About Love

Winter Wonderland (Or, Depending on Your Point of View, Frozen Hellscape)

I live in a land made of powdered sugar and birthday cake frosting.

My street on Sunday morning
My street on Sunday morning

Winter so far this season hasn’t been all that bad compared to the frozen wasteland that was last year. We’d had a few warmer days that had melted a portion of the snow, and I was naively hoping that the gradual melt towards spring would be uninterrupted and without any major setbacks. Continue reading Winter Wonderland (Or, Depending on Your Point of View, Frozen Hellscape)