12 Untranslatable Words We Love

These wonderful words from all over the world have no direct English translation or equivalent, but oh how we wish they did.

View as Slideshow



TingoNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
To borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left. (Pascuense language of Easter Island)


DuendeNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
A climactic show of spirit such as in flamenco dancing or bull-fighting. (Spanish)


ForelsketNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
Not just love; the euphoria you feel when you first fall in love. (Norwegian)

Content continues below ad


GigilNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
Pronounced "gheegle", it's the urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute. (Filipino)


IlungaNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time. (Tshiluba, Congo)

L’esprit de l’escalier

L’esprit de l’escalierNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
Usually translated as “staircase wit,” it is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it. (French)

Content continues below ad


LitostNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
A state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery. (Czech)


NunchiNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
The subtle art of listening and gauging another’s mood. Knowing what to say or do, or what not to say or do, in a given situation. (Korean)

Pena Ajena

Pena AjenaNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation. (Spanish)

Content continues below ad


PochemuchkaNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
A person who asks a lot of questions. (Russian)


SgriobNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip before taking a sip of whiskey. (Gaelic)


WaldeinsamkeitNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com
The feeling of being alone in the woods. (German)

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.