Archive for November, 2020

Twelve Foreign Concepts With No American Equivalent

November 17, 2020

Coming soon to a self-help-inflected Netflix documentary!

Jutpälvirsaippy (Finnish): A warm, fuzzy feeling induced by thinking of your nation’s robust social services

Zzxjoanw (Maori): A secondhand embarrassment one gets when watching foreign political leaders behave poorly  

Voirepergne (French):  The miraculous ability of some women to eat high fat diets and remain slim (alternative, archaic: the miraculous ability of some women to look stylish even when wearing rags, or, the miraculous ability of some women to somehow be pretty even when hideous)

Schnitzengruben (German): a friendliness that nevertheless grates or disgusts the recipient

卞工几と 日ヨ工几呂 (Japanese): the sense of mental well-being that comes from knowing one has the exactly ideal number of possessions

Kamelåså (Danish): a cozy aesthetic that should be easily achieved with purchases from large Scandinavian chain stores yet somehow looks stupid and cheap if you live outside the Arctic Circle 

Dututebatti (Luxembourgish): a fluency with myriad languages, acquired early in life and seemingly with ease

쟁반 받쳐줄게요 (Korean): the ability to blend in to or be embraced by a wide variety of societies and cultures; alt. impeccable social skills (useful idiom: “polite tourist in a china shop”)

Schulleilis (Gaelic): a soft and universally pleasing tone of voice

Darajuiwolo (Yoruba): a combination of perseverance, strength, and optimism, all of which are readily understandable to English speakers, and yet none are able to harness the power of darajuiwolo without purchasing a book or listening to between six and eleven Ted talks on the subject