One of my favourite words is a deliciously wicked loanword from German - schadenfreude. There is no equivalent word in English, but it translates roughly as 'pleasure in the misfortune or suffering of others' (Oxford English Dictionary), or that 'feeling of enjoyment gained from hearing about other's troubles (Merriam-Webster). Schadenfreude is that warm and fuzzy feeling you get (don't deny it!) when when you see that unscrupulous colleague of yours get shafted by a shady connection; or, when you discover the erstwhile cheerleaders and jocks of your high school years are now mediocre frumps and chumps...oh, the irony! Here's why schadenfreude secretly makes us smile...

Schadenfreude's certainly not the only word out there on loan to English from another language. There are many, many more, like saudade (Portuguese) - a feeling, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament (Oxford English Dictionary), and chutzpah (or hutspâ, Hebrew) - extreme self-confidence or audacity (Oxford English Dictionary). And what about dronk verdriet (Afrikaans)? A phrase, rather than a word, but still; English cannot adequately describe that certain kind of sobbing-into-your-brandy-and-coke-on-the-stoep-under-an-African-sky-melancholia! To add to your exotic vocab, enjoy these borrowed words, below... 


11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures
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