Untranslatable Words Card Set


These ‘untranslatable’ cards are a collection of words from the world’s languages that imply feelings greater than our own language can produce in one word. Each word comes with a complementary image. For instance:

  • SAUDADE (Portuguese) – A bitter-sweet melancholic yearning for something beautiful that is now gone: perhaps a love affair, a childhood home, a flourishing business. There is pain yet also a pleasure that such loveliness once graced our lives.
  • JAYUS (Indonesian) – A lame joke that nonetheless elicits good-natured amusement, rather than irritation – at its sheer innocent silliness. The ability to treat an idiotic remark as a Jayus is a sign of our wisdom and kindness; evidence that we can accept that our minds are low as well as high.

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