Ever find you’re stuck for words? Can’t think of the best way to articulate your inner most thoughts? Well, sometimes the 1 million-plus words of the English language and our old time favourites “barby”, “plonk” or “sheila” simply don’t deliver enough options to fulfill your narrative needs.
However, a handful of international top terms are gradually beginning to enter the lexicon, which may help you out in times of tongue-tied discomfort – and we’ve rounded them up in this snappy little A-Z infographic of untranslatable words.
For example, in Indonesia they have a five-letter word for an unfunny joke, while in Japan they simply summarise an act of buying a book and never reading it as ‘tsundoku’ – and if you’re stuck for something to put in Grandma’s Christmas card come December, you could always enlighten her to the Finnish expression “poronkusema” – the distance a reindeer can travel before needing a wee wee.