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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:42 am 
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The way anek descirbes doch reminds me of the Dutch toch. It's also kind of a word without meaning outside of the context in which it's used. It can be used like the English "aren't they?" or "isn't it?", so you can say "They're coming, toch?" You can also say it to negate a negative, so if the implication is "they're not coming" but you know they are, you can say "ze komen toch!" which basically means "yes they're coming".

The Danish hyggelig sounds a lot like the Dutch gezellig which is also often said to be untranslatable.

One Dutch word that I love is aaibaar which is an adjective describing something that's so cute you just want to pet/stroke it. (Minds out of the gutter! It's not generally used sexually!) It can apply to an animal, a cute thing, or even a person (the type of person you just want to hug). You can also make the nouns aaibaarheid and aaibaarheidsfactor. The former is the state of being aaibaar, and the latter is the degree to which something/someone embodies this state. So, for example, kittehs have a much higher aaibaarheidsfactor than, say, spiders.

Another Dutch word that I find handy is sterkte. The word in and of itself isn't untranslatable; it literally means "strength". But it's used here to express "I wish you strength in difficult times" in situations where someone is dealing with a loss or an illness. So it can be used in the place of "my condolences" but also "please be well" or "good luck".

Funnily enough, living amongst non-native English speakers, I find some English expressions that seem to confuzzle non-native speakers. My partner has a really hard time processing "I'm sorry" when it's used in sentences like "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" or "I'm sorry that happened to you". He jokingly replies "Well stop doing it then!"

(He's just come in and mentioned the Dutch/Flemish concept zalig which also encompasses a lot and is hard to translate into English. It's like "delicious" but it's so much more than that and isn't only used to describe food.)

Oh, and I don't know if schadenfraude is in a dictionary, but I've definitely run across it on more than one occasion in English usage. (The Dutch have a similar word/concept: leedvermaak.)

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:25 am 
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not a word that cannot be translated, but I always wondered whether there is an English word (that is used regularly) for kindergarten?


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:42 am 
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I don't think there's a word of English origin for "kindergarten."

But—because I can't stop being a pedant?—I would say that kindergarten is an English word now. It's been used in the US and the UK for more than 150 years.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:53 am 
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Kindergarten is different in the US and Germany though. In the US, kindergarten is the first year of primary school. Before that, children go to pre-school or nursery school, which is not mandatory, and you have pay for it. My understanding is that German kindergarten is similar to American pre-school.

So, what Germans call kindergarten, Americans would call pre-school or nursery school, I believe.


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Gulliver wrote:

On a tremendously tangential note, do we have any Esperantists among us?


wait, are you one? (I tried to learn, but this Assimil stuff was horribly boring! I can understand, though)

Quote:
One Dutch word that I love is aaibaar
oooh! that word is awesome!!!

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Last edited by Emilie on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:24 pm 
Calls "cavemen" on that
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3. Jayus
Indonesian – “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh” (Altalang.com)



Nice. I think most of my jokes and humor fall into this category. Good to know there is a word for it somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:16 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
Funnily enough, living amongst non-native English speakers, I find some English expressions that seem to confuzzle non-native speakers. My partner has a really hard time processing "I'm sorry" when it's used in sentences like "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" or "I'm sorry that happened to you". He jokingly replies "Well stop doing it then!"


I am a native English speaker, and I feel exactly the same way about "I'm sorry"!

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:24 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
Funnily enough, living amongst non-native English speakers, I find some English expressions that seem to confuzzle non-native speakers. My partner has a really hard time processing "I'm sorry" when it's used in sentences like "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" or "I'm sorry that happened to you". He jokingly replies "Well stop doing it then!"


I am a native English speaker, and I feel exactly the same way about "I'm sorry"!

I think a lot of native English speakers are thrown by that use of "I'm sorry." I say it all the time in those kind of contexts only to hear "it's not your fault" in response (not from most people, but from some.) Yeah, I know. I'm not actually apologizing for anything.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:47 pm 
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monkeytoes wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
Funnily enough, living amongst non-native English speakers, I find some English expressions that seem to confuzzle non-native speakers. My partner has a really hard time processing "I'm sorry" when it's used in sentences like "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" or "I'm sorry that happened to you". He jokingly replies "Well stop doing it then!"


I am a native English speaker, and I feel exactly the same way about "I'm sorry"!

I think a lot of native English speakers are thrown by that use of "I'm sorry." I say it all the time in those kind of contexts only to hear "it's not your fault" in response (not from most people, but from some.) Yeah, I know. I'm not actually apologizing for anything.


It drives me nuts when used by people you are calling to report a problem or something (like with cable or internet). They tell you "I am sorry you are having this issue". No, you're not sorry, you don't really care...besides I don't care whether you are sorry or not, let's get on to fixing my problem. It's not your fault my internet connection is down.

I know they have to follow the script, but goodness, it's aggravating..


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:57 pm 
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I'm in the camp of people that think the phrase "I'm Sorry" for things one is not responsible for is actually quite nice. It's not an apology, it's sympathy/empathy.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Yeah, me, too! It's not that you're apologizing...it's saying that you are sorry that something happened to someone or whatever the situation is. And you are sorry! Because sorry just means regretful.

People say "I'm sorry!" about lots of things in Canada (I've heard it's more common in Canada than the US), like if I'm blocking someone's way to get through an aisle, they'll say, "Sorry!" as a means of asking me to pass, and I'll say, "Sorry!" to excuse my blocking them.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:15 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
Funnily enough, living amongst non-native English speakers, I find some English expressions that seem to confuzzle non-native speakers. My partner has a really hard time processing "I'm sorry" when it's used in sentences like "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" or "I'm sorry that happened to you". He jokingly replies "Well stop doing it then!"

I wonder how he feels about "i'm afraid"!

Brazilians are a bit confuzzled by "I'm sorry" for condolences. As someone told me, if you say you're sorry, it's an admission of guilt!! And you didn't kill anybody, did you? Erm, sorry, i didn't make English!

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:55 pm 
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I like the difference in Spanish for I'm sorry, like lo siento and desculpame. I don't seriously study it, but from what I've picked up, lo siento is for like "I'm sorry that happened," and desculpame is like "forgive me."

The Portuguese words on the list make me ache. Wilson and I talk a lot about saudade.

Also, Torque, Wilson seems to swear more in English now, too. Although he swears a lot in general. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:17 pm 
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ndpittman wrote:
I like the difference in Spanish for I'm sorry, like lo siento and desculpame. I don't seriously study it, but from what I've picked up, lo siento is for like "I'm sorry that happened," and desculpame is like "forgive me."


I've always associated disculpame more like excuse me. Perdon is another word for "I'm sorry". Depending on the country, they seem to have different uses and even what I found on a spanish language discussion forum, there seem to be vast discrepencies.

Here is a good summary but again, can vary by country and the below was based off of Latin Spanish (specifically Mexico)

Quote:
Perdón — use after-the-fact for minor transgressions.

Perdóneme (por favor) — use after-the-fact for asking forgiveness. This is considered to be a very strong imperative in México.

Discúlpeme — use either before-the-fact for interruptions or after-the-fact for more-than-minor transgressions.

Lo siento — something totally different. Used like the "I'm sorry to hear that..." is in English.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:50 pm 
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I'm afraid I don't get this sorry:

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:02 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:07 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Yeah, me, too! It's not that you're apologizing...it's saying that you are sorry that something happened to someone or whatever the situation is. And you are sorry! Because sorry just means regretful.

People say "I'm sorry!" about lots of things in Canada (I've heard it's more common in Canada than the US), like if I'm blocking someone's way to get through an aisle, they'll say, "Sorry!" as a means of asking me to pass, and I'll say, "Sorry!" to excuse my blocking them.

Yeah, totally. When I say "Sorry!" in my Canadian way about everything (the way we say eh?) and people sometimes get console-y and all "don't be sorry!" I'm, like, thinking they misunderstand me because it's not a loaded word to me the way I often use it, it's not necessarily taking responsibility for whatever or whatever. It gets thrown around here, it's an all-purpose polite word that means "get the hell outta the way!" sometimes, or to substitute for other such niceties.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:28 pm 
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I have two that I love.

The Yiddish word Machatunim. It describes the relationship between my parents and my parents in law.

The other is the Tagalog word Parinig. It means to sort of put an idea out there and hope someone takes note instead of directly confronting them. It can be used as a noun or a verb. It's similar to being passive aggressive, but when you are passive aggressive you are still communicating directly to someone. A proper parinig is simply stated and not necessarily addressed to anyone.


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:32 pm 
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torque wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
Funnily enough, living amongst non-native English speakers, I find some English expressions that seem to confuzzle non-native speakers. My partner has a really hard time processing "I'm sorry" when it's used in sentences like "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" or "I'm sorry that happened to you". He jokingly replies "Well stop doing it then!"

I wonder how he feels about "i'm afraid"!


That one's not a problem because ik ben bang (I'm afraid) can be used in the same way in Dutch. For example "ik ben bang van niet" = "I'm afraid not".

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:48 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
People say "I'm sorry!" about lots of things in Canada (I've heard it's more common in Canada than the US), like if I'm blocking someone's way to get through an aisle, they'll say, "Sorry!" as a means of asking me to pass, and I'll say, "Sorry!" to excuse my blocking them.


I feel like saying sorry about minor things like that is more common in the south than in other parts of the U.S. At home, I never feel like it bothers people when I say it (and I say it a lot!), but it seems more likely to annoy those who are not from here. I actually lost a moot court competition once because I annoyed the (non-Southern) judge by saying "I'm sorry" when I stumbled over words a few times.


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:50 am 
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helbury wrote:
Kindergarten is different in the US and Germany though. In the US, kindergarten is the first year of primary school. Before that, children go to pre-school or nursery school, which is not mandatory, and you have pay for it. My understanding is that German kindergarten is similar to American pre-school.

So, what Germans call kindergarten, Americans would call pre-school or nursery school, I believe.


I always get so confused by this use of kindergarten, because in (Western) Australia (it might be different in other states? I think I've heard it used differently), kindergarten is more like nursery school (I guess more similar to the German use of the word?), and then preschool is the grade before starting primary school. I've always wondered why the two are swapped around in different places.

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:12 am 
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FootFace wrote:
I never should have stopped doing my blog!

This is a brand-new flavor of suicide food—the fish wishes he could be killed and eaten but can't be because he's not a plant!


oh you stopped? nooo, you shouldn't have! I discovered it recently and I was pretty enthusiast, I had tought I was quite the only one on earth beeing amazed by happy cannibal pigs selling sausages...

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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:39 am 
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Anek wrote:
One of my favourite non-translatable words from German is "doch". It doesn't mean anything, but it's used when negating something someone said, for example: "You are not Anek!" "Doch! I am Anek!".


But it does mean something! In fact it means a lot. There's just no exact translation for it in English. It belongs to several different word classes and therefore has several different functions. In your example, it replaces a whole sentence. You don't have to say "Doch! I am Anek!" You just say "Doch!" It expresses disagreement much better tha "Yes, I am", the expression you would use in English.

lepelaar wrote:
The way anek descirbes doch reminds me of the Dutch toch. It's also kind of a word without meaning outside of the context in which it's used. It can be used like the English "aren't they?" or "isn't it?", so you can say "They're coming, toch?" You can also say it to negate a negative, so if the implication is "they're not coming" but you know they are, you can say "ze komen toch!" which basically means "yes they're coming".


Yes, it's exactly the same as Dutch "toch". It's derived from the same Indogermanic word. It's the same word and both languages use it in the same way.

There's a Norwegian word for "doch", too. They say "jo".


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:46 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
That one's not a problem because ik ben bang (I'm afraid) can be used in the same way in Dutch. For example "ik ben bang van niet" = "I'm afraid not".


That is interesting. We use this phrase in my dialect, too (Lower German) "Ick bin/bün bang(e)." But here it only means "I am frightened."


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 Post subject: Re: things you wish you could say.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:26 am 
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linanil wrote:
ndpittman wrote:
I like the difference in Spanish for I'm sorry, like lo siento and desculpame. I don't seriously study it, but from what I've picked up, lo siento is for like "I'm sorry that happened," and desculpame is like "forgive me."


I've always associated disculpame more like excuse me. Perdon is another word for "I'm sorry". Depending on the country, they seem to have different uses and even what I found on a spanish language discussion forum, there seem to be vast discrepencies.

Here is a good summary but again, can vary by country and the below was based off of Latin Spanish (specifically Mexico)

Quote:
Perdón — use after-the-fact for minor transgressions.

Perdóneme (por favor) — use after-the-fact for asking forgiveness. This is considered to be a very strong imperative in México.

Discúlpeme — use either before-the-fact for interruptions or after-the-fact for more-than-minor transgressions.

Lo siento — something totally different. Used like the "I'm sorry to hear that..." is in English.


Interesting! The way I've been using perdoneme and discupleme is flip-flopped. Like if I bump into someone it's perdoneme, but if I really did something bad, it's disculpeme. I should say that I mostly speak Spanish to Wilson, whose first language is Portuguese, so there are a lot of levels of what the fizzle there. The Spanish speakers that I spoke to were mostly Guatemalan; the kid he told me lo siento instead of disculpeme is Guatemalan.

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