7 Useful Words That Don't Exist In English

Apr 30, 2021 12:00:00 AM | 7 Useful Words That Don't Exist In English

Some languages have words to describe concepts, and they don't translate into English. Here are 7 of those words and what they mean.

We all know that there are sayings in English that do not translate well into other languages. Well the same is said for other words back into English.

Check out a few of our favorites:


This Indonesian term describes a joke “so unfunny that it’s actually hilarious”. Think ‘Napoleon Dynamite’...or your dad!


In Scotland, this term is used to describe the “panicky hesitation before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember”. We’ve definitely felt this before. Work event? Tartle. Significant other’s family function? Tartle. John Travolta at the 2014 Oscars? Apparently,



Are you a book lover? Are you an avid reader? Are you somebody who understands why those aren’t the same question? The Japanese language has a word for you! ‘Tsundoku’ is the act of buying new books and letting them pile up, unread. And before you ask- yes, e-books count too.


Is someone about to ask you to help move heavy furniture? Carry in groceries from the car in the middle of winter? Epibreren can provide the relief you need. No, we’re not talking about brand of pain medication you’re never heard of. In Dutch, ‘epibreren’ means “doing work on a task that looks important but is actually useless busywork”. Stay “busy”, stay unbothered!


If the alarm clock is your nemesis- you’re probably a ‘morgenmuffel’. Literally translating to “morning grouch”, this German term is the title given to those of us who just aren’t morning people. Other signs of being a morgenmuffel include avid dry shampoo use, and an emotional

attachment to the word “venti”.


Whatcha looking at? Oh! Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you. You were just kind of zoned out. Anyways, I was going to tell you about this next word in Japanese- ‘boketto’: the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking.


This Inuit word hits a little harder post-2020 quarantine. Defined as “the feeling of anticipation while waiting for someone to arrive, often leading to intermittently going outside to check for them”, here’s a short list of things (besides other breathing, living people to be around) we’ve felt

iktsuarpok for this past year: Amazon packages, grocery deliveries, stimulus checks, and- once upon a time- the toilet paper we found on Ebay for $35.

Global Interpreting Services

Written By: Global Interpreting Services