Four German words that have no direct translation

It’s called Found in Translation and it is a very interesting graphic project realized by Anjana Iyer, presented in occasion of the initiative 100 days Project (The repeating of a creative task for 100 consecutive days and recording of each days efforts).

At the heart of the illustrations of this graphic designer from New Zealand are words that have a unique and original meaning which exists only in one language. There is no direct translation, more words are required and at times, as she did, also a nice drawing. It is through these that she tries to explain the meaning of these untranslatable words in other languages.

Rightly so amongst this list there are also some German words. Do you know of a word that is capable of conveying the German Fernweh, or so the longing of a place one has never been to? And of the German Schadenfreude, the “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune”? And what about that face that you would like to slap that in Germany is simply address through as Backpfeifengesicht? We too have forests, but perhaps since we never had the Grimm brothers we never felt the need to describe the feeling of being alone in amongst the trees as Germans did with Waldeinsamkeit.

Do you wish to learn German or perfect your knowledge? Then take a look at the German courses that Berlino Schule organizes in Berlin here!

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