It's a gray, gray afternoon, and soon to be evening, and the cloud ceiling is feeling oppressive. It's a good time to ponder. Here, have a list: "Untranslateable Words," from NPR (six years ago, because I'm timely).

I've always loved "esprit de l'escalier," but the others are unfamiliar to me. For example:


litost [lee-tosht] (noun)

This is an untranslatable emotion that only a Czech person would suffer from, defined by Milan Kundera as "a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own misery"...


korinthenkacker [core-in-ten-cuck-er] (noun)

A "raisin pooper" — that is, someone so taken up with life's trivial detail that they spend all day crapping raisins...


tatemae [tah-tay-mye] (noun)

A term often translated as "form," but it also has the specific cultural meaning of "the reality that everyone professes to be true, even though they may not privately believe it"...

They make me long for English equivalents and ruminate on the mysteries of human communication. Don't be a raisin pooper! Go ponder.