Love Words That Have No English Translation


Last year, the Oxford Dictionary Online added a bunch of popular words including lolz, ridic and vajazzle, but there are still some feelings and experiences no English word can quite describe. Here are some foreign words that might help you convey all the nuances of your love or frightening obsession this Valentine's Day.

Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego) — This is the most succinct word, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and it describes a look shared by two people who are both waiting for each other to make the next move. As long as no one caves, it can be an endless source of sexual tension.

The mamihlapinatapai between Jim and Pam was an enjoyably frustrating storyline of early seasons of "The Office."

Retrouvailles (French) — Literally translated as "rediscovery," retrouvailles is the happiness of reuniting with someone after a long separation. Long-distance relationships wouldn't fare well without it.

When too much time and life have passed, retrouvailles can give way to regret, as Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's characters find in "Before Sunset."

Koi No Yokan (Japanese) — For those a shade too practical to believe in love at first sight, koi no yokan is the feeling upon meeting someone that love is in the cards, in time.

Jude Law and Natalie Portman's characters experienced something like this in the opening scene of "Closer," one of the most honest and unclouded moments in their relationship.

Onsra (Boro language of India) — There are several ways to love in Boro, and onsra, or the bittersweet "to love for the last time" is a staple of middling romantic dramas.

Ya’aburnee (Arabic) — The literal translation is "you bury me" — because I don't even want to imagine life without you.

During a wide-ranging confessional on the latest episode of "Girls," Hannah declares ya’aburnee to the Patrick Wilson character, even though he is a couple of decades older, married and quickly losing interest in starring in her domestic fantasy.

“All I really needed was to look at someone and be, like, that person wants to be there after I’m dead," she says after passing out in his shower.

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