15 Fantastic Untranslatable Words ...


Untranslatable words are words in other languages around the world that didn’t make it through English translation.

It’s amazing how you could look at one word in a foreign language and see that it takes five or six words to describe it in English.

Continue reading for 15 untranslatable words I wish could be translated to English!

1. Cafuné

Cafuné is Brazilian Portuguese.

It’s described as “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.” How cool is that?2

Cafuné is one of the untranslatable words that would be used very frequently if there was a word for it in English.

2. Ayurnamat

Ayurnamat is Inuit and it’s a word describing the philosophy that there is no reason to worry about the things that can’t be changed.

Since I use Hakuna Matata absolutely too much, I can switch it up a little and start saying Ayuramat instead!

3. Prozvonit

Prozvonit is Czech and it means to call a cell phone and let it ring once so the other person will call back, saving the first caller money.

This probably isn’t correct Czech grammar but, my mom doesn’t have mobile-to-mobile calling, so she Prozvonits me all the time!

4. Jayus

Jayus is Indonesian and it refers to a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but to laugh.

I love this word!

Here’s an example of a Jayus: Why do seagulls fly over seas?

Because if they flew over bays they would be called bagels!


It’s not really funny now because it’s a bad joke, but I bet it will be when you tell your friends!2

It gets funnier every time!

5. Dépaysement

Dépaysement is French for the feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.

So instead of homesick, it’s home countrysick!

I think the translators could’ve managed to translate that one!

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