Thursday, April 28, 2005

Found in Translation

Every language has words that embody complex concepts that cannot be summed up by a single word in another language. One of my linguistics books lists some examples of this from the Sye language of Micronesia:

  • livinlivin - the top of something that is teetering over an edge and about to fall

  • orvalei - to complain, unjustly, that something is insufficient or not enough

There are great words and I wish we had them in English.