Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
|Portuguese to English translations [PRO]|
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
|Portuguese term or phrase: saudade|
|I am preparing a discussion of words difficult to translate into English. On the captioned word, I have only the information listed below, and I would appreciate correction or expansion, explaining the nuances. Thank you.|
saudade – Portuguese for a certain type of longing
As you can see, this is very incomplete. What type of longing? Could you explain further? Thank you.
|a word with no accurate equivalent in English ...|
In Portuguese, this word serves to describe the feeling of missing someone (or something) you´re fond of.It also relates to feelings of melancholy and fond memories of gone-by days, lost love and a general feeling of unhappiness.Some specialists say that this word has come to life during the Great Portuguese Discoveries, giving meaning to the sadness felt by those who departed in journeys to the unknown seas. Those who stayed behind—mostly women and children—deeply suffered with their absence, and such state has almost become a "portuguese way of life:" the constant feeling of absence, the sadness of something that's missing. Few other languages in the world have a word with such meaning, making Saudade a indistinguishable mark of the Portuguese culture.
In the latter half of the 20th century Saudade has become associated with the feeling of longing for one's homeland, as hundreds of thousands of Portuguese left in search of better futures in North America and Northern Europe.
Selected response from:
|This response is particularly helpful in that gives a sense of both (a) the variety of translations that could be proper, depending on context, and (b) the general concept that underlies those variations. It thus addresses both the specific word and the general concept of "words difficult to translate."|
Don't know if the site will accept further comments below, so I'm adding them here to be safe:
To Vittoria M: same comment and thanks as above.
To Solomon Wright and to Amilcar: I agree with you that the word "untranslatable" may mislead. (You'll notice I didn't use that word!) Yours is a fascinating discussion about that concept, and is perhaps more interesting than the original question. See also my note added to the original question.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
6 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +1