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The 13 Most Untranslatable Words – Voted by You!

Listen & Learn has had a long-standing obsession with those tricky foreign words that refuse to be translated. So, instead of the usual research one would do to find new ones, we decided to ask redditors for their opinions on the most difficult word in their native language to translate into English:

1. Lagom – Swedish

adjective - enough to satisfy you, but not too much. [caption id="attachment_2091" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Lagom. A Swedish word which roughly translates to "enough to satisfy you" Photo by Tommie Hansen[/caption]

2 & 3. Gezellig  & Beleg – Dutch

adjective – a friendly ambience; a cozy atmosphere noun – a bread topping [caption id="attachment_2092" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Gezellig is a kind of cozy, beleg is nondescriptive term for anything on a sandwich.  Photo by Austin Kirk[/caption]

4. Sijuiak – Bidayuh

adjective – the feeling that describes not feeling like eating anymore, even though you are not quite full yet [caption id="attachment_2093" align="alignnone" width="1016"]The word sijuiak means you're sick of the food. Meaning, "I just don't feel like eating it anymore though even though I'm not exactly full" Photo by Dennis Wong[/caption]

5. Dépaysement  - French

noun – a change of scenery adjective – the feeling that is accompanied with this change of scenery       [caption id="attachment_2094" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Dépaysement: it's a french word that describes the feeling you have when you travel away and feel different from home Photo by Ignacio Sanz[/caption]  

6. Lummert – Norwegian

adjective – the feeling that a storm is brewing [caption id="attachment_2095" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Lummert means, "When you can feel storm/rain coming" photo by Saperaud[/caption]

7. Goesting - Flemish

adjective – a want, or need for something [caption id="attachment_2102" align="alignnone" width="1016"] "Goesting" is a word that describes the need for something, or feeling like something. Photo by Wolfgang Staudt[/caption]

8. Attpåklatt - Norwegian

 noun – a much younger sibling [caption id="attachment_2096" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Norwegians use the word 'attpåklatt' for the younger sibling when he/she's 8+ years younger photo by Jonathan Kos-Read[/caption]  

9. Jayus – Indonesian

noun ­– a poorly told joke that still manages to be funny, however, only because it’s so bad [caption id="attachment_2097" align="alignnone" width="1016"]"Jayus", Indonesian slang for "an unfunny/poorly told joke that you laugh at " photo by Christopher Cannon[/caption]  

10. Schadenfreude – German

noun – a feeling of pleasure at another’s misfortune [caption id="attachment_2098" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Schadenfreude is german and describes a feeling of pleasure derived by seeing another’s misfortune photo by Andrew Imanaka[/caption]  

11. Yakamoz – Turkish

noun – the reflection of moonlight on the water [caption id="attachment_2099" align="alignnone" width="1016"]From Turkish, the word yakamoz. It means the reflection of the moon in water. photo by Serge[/caption]  

12.  L’tzantek – Hebrew

verb – the act of giving someone a ‘missed call’ in order for them to know to call you back [caption id="attachment_2100" align="alignnone" width="1016"]A Hebrew word, "l'tzantek," translates roughly to "to give someone an intentional missed call so that they call you back" photo by NutellaStellaAmelia[/caption]

13.  Gjennomslagskraft – Norwegian

adjective – having the willpower or force to push through an obstacle, or get a message across [caption id="attachment_2101" align="alignnone" width="1016"]Gjennomslagkraft literally means the force to punch through something photo by theaucitron[/caption] It would seem that Norway wins the award for the country with the trickiest untranslatable words! If you’d like to learn more about the language, send us an enquiry, or test your current Norwegian level! Do you have any quirky words from your own language you’d like to see added to the list? Send them to us in the comments section below!