Lost in Translation
sent me a lovely press release
about a survey of translators and interpretters asking what the most difficult words to translate are.
"And the winner is ILUNGA
A Word In The Bantu Language Of Tshiluba For
A Person Ready To Forgive Any Abuse For The First Time; To Tolerate It A Second Time; But Never A Third Time."
I can't tell which I like better: pochemuchka
--Russian for a person who asks a lot of questions--or radioukacz
--Polish for a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain.
More seriously, it's interesting that two of the top ten have to do with sadness (altahmam
, Arabic for a kind of deep sadness and saudade
, Portuguese for a certain type of longin) and that only two of the top ten have a positive connotation.