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Off topic: Your favorite words in your languages
Thread poster: Sara Senft

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 26, 2008

I'm curious....are there words in your native and non-native languages that you especially like?

There are some words in Spanish and English that I especially like. In other words, I love how they sound/"feel"/etc.

Some of my favorites:

--Polemico/a (It's a Spanish adjective meaning 'controversial.')

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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:16
Partial member
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Some of mine Oct 27, 2008

Great thread!

From the top of my head:

  • Nuannaarpoq - Years ago, somebody posted that word in these fora. It means 'the extravagant pleasure of being alive' in Innuit. I can't think of a more extraordinary word.

  • Mariposa (sp) / butterfly (en) / papillon (fr) / borboleta (pt) - I'm not crazy about the actual butterflies but I love the words

  • Aujourd'hui

In English:

  • Nevermore

  • Adobe

  • Yearn / yearning

  • Evergreen

  • Actually

  • Azimuth

In Spanish

  • Jacarandá

  • Renacimiento

  • Criatura

  • Albahaca, lapislázuli, alambre, acicalar, ajorca, berenjena - Pretty much any Arabic loanword

[Edited at 2008-10-27 02:00]

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PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:46
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Some of mine! Oct 27, 2008

My favourite ones? Here they are.....

In Hindi, they are

नमस्‍कार i.e. Namaskar!
हे प्रभु i.e. Hey Prabhu!

a hindi verse

ऐसी बानी बोलि‍ये, मन का आपा खोय.
औरन को सीतल करे, आपहु सीतल होय.

बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, मुझसा बुरा न कोय.

In Nepali, they are

हजुर i.e. A respect giving pronoun- hajura
नमस्‍कार i.e. Namaskar same as in Hindi.
बाबु-नानीहरू i.e. Babu-nani haru, all kids including boys and girls. I used it while doing teaching in a school in Nepal.

A small verse/poem
कुखुरी काँ, बासी भात खा, खई बासी भात,........

In Sanskrit,

ओम् Om!

कर्मसु कौशलम् Karmasu Kaushalam!

उद्यमेन हि‍ सि‍ध्‍यन्‍ति‍, कार्याणि‍ न मनोरथै:.
न हि‍ सुप्‍तस्‍य सिंहस्‍य, प्रवि‍शन्‍ति‍ मुखे मृगा:.

वि‍द्या ददाति‍ वि‍नयं, वि‍नयाति‍ याति‍ पात्रताम्,
पात्रत्‍वात् धनमाप्‍नोति‍, धनात्‍धर्मं ततस्‍सुखम्.

ओम् ह्रौं जूँ स:, ओम् भूर्भुव: स्‍व: ....... (महामृत्‍युंजय मंत्र, mahamrityunjaya mantra)

Also, one more, it's


Freelance Translator of Nepali, Hindi Sanskrit and English to four of the same languages.
Cell No.: 0091-9310999079

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David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:16
Spanish to English
Favourite words Oct 27, 2008

[quote]Srta Sara wrote:

"I'm curious....are there words in your native and non-native languages that you especially like?"

From the top of my head this morning

English- flummoxed

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Angelica4  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:16
Member (2008)
English to Swahili
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Here are mine! Oct 27, 2008


Shikamoo - Greeting from a younger person to an older person

flabbergasted - greatly surprised

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:16
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Jabberwock Oct 27, 2008

The names given in different languages to Lewis Carroll's mythical creature from a poem in "Alice Through the Looking Glass":

English: Jabberwock

Danish: Kloppervok

French: Jaseroque

German: Jammerwoch

Russian: Бармаглот

Spanish: Bemboguaba

Italian: Ciarlestrone

Portuguese: Jaguadarte

Polish: Zabrolaki

See also

[Edited at 2008-10-27 15:43]

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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:16
Member (2006)
English to French
Already discussed Oct 27, 2008


and here:


[Edited at 2008-10-27 09:51]

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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:16
Chinese to English
+ ...
A few English, Chinese and Greek favorites Oct 27, 2008


In general, I love how almost anything can become a verb in English and also how many words which originated in foreign languages are now a part of standard English.

sine qua non

葡萄牙(Putaoya)- Portugal, but it literally reads "grape teeth."
美国 (Meiguo)- America, but the "mei" means "beautiful" as well.
糟糕(zaogao)- "darn!"but literally "rotten cake!"Reminds me of the old Batman show.
云雨 (yunyu)- literally "clouds and rain," but actually, making love.


It's so interesting how different languages view and talk about (or don't talk about) love- but this could be a whole different thread

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Krzysztof Łesyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:16
Japanese to English
+ ...
Yes, I'm weird. Oct 27, 2008

My absolutely favorite word in English is "dingleberry" - it just sounds really funny for some reason, even if the meaning is gross It also reminds me of "jingle" (as in "jingle bells"), which is another word I like. I bet you didn't really need the mental image of jingling dingleberries, did you now? Well, too bad

In my native Polish, I love the word "wyszczerzyć", that might be translated to "snarl" or maybe "bare (one's teeth)", but it is also sometimes used to mean "to smile very broadly"

In Japanese, I love あららら (pronounced "ararara" - with as many "ra"s as you can manage - you can go from a simple "ara" denoting a mild surprise to a prolonged "arararararara" that would mean something along the lines of "goodnes gracious oh me oh my!"), おっとっとっと (pronounced "ottottotto". Different meanings depending on the context, so hard to translate - "ahh" maybe? You can add more "tto"s for a slightly comical effect) and よっこらしょ ("yokkorasho" - Can't think of any good English translation, but it's used mainly by older people when doing something mildly strenuous, like lifting something, climbing a flight of stairs, getting out of bed and so on. "Aaand, here goes nothing!" is the closest English equivalent I can think of right now).

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:16
Portuguese to English
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Nice to have the other links, but... Oct 27, 2008

Do I get the feeling you're saying it shouldn't be discussed again? Maybe there are new people who missed those earlier links, and I doubt that most people would be bothered to look in the archives...I know I wouldn't. I don't care how many times a topic has been discussed...I always like to hear new ideas and views.

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Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:16
Member (2008)
English to French
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... Oct 28, 2008

Sorry, that was favourite things

My word would be:


Because it's not only a beautiful word composed of beautiful words - wander & lust - but it completely and utterly defines me!

I also have a soft spot for "quintessential" for some reason, oh and "supercalifragilistic expialodocious"

In French, hum, French is more about l'agencement de mots than the individual evocative power of a single word, however I remember being tickled silly during a translation yesterday - how such an ugly image as "landfill run-off" can give you the word "lixiviat" in French which sounds so pretty in and of itself

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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:16
Member (2006)
English to French
. Oct 28, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:

Do I get the feeling you're saying it shouldn't be discussed again? .

Not at all! I was just meaning "look at here, you will get other ideas".

But I must add that since the poll was lauched last February - i.e. not that long ago - why not carry on this thread instead of starting a new one ?


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Local time: 04:16
Romanian to English
+ ...
Great thread, strange idea Oct 28, 2008

Well, I gotta hand it to you, this IS a great thread, but it's also a... strange idea, sorta.
Hm, my fav. word in Romanian... That's a tough one!

I think it's... "(a) analiza", vb. -> "(to) analyse"

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valerius  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:16
English to Latvian
+ ...
some of mine Oct 29, 2008

English: gasp - doesn't it sound beautiful!
German: Edelstahleckeinbauspüle - this is obvious 5 in 1

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Anita du Plessis  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 03:16
Member (2008)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My Afrikaans Favourites Nov 4, 2008

I love these words because they sound so nice and they also have double meanings (Quite humorous I might add):

Trapsuutjies - it means tread lightly in a literal sense and is the name for a chameleon. But it can also mean a very slow person.

Kruidjie-roer-my-nie - type of bush with very sensitive leaves. If you touch it, the leaves curl up and close. It can also be used for an overly sensitive person.

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