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Around The World In 12 Untranslatable Words

Take a look at these wanderlust-evoking words from around the world.


Today, there are around 6500 spoken languages in the world. Language binds us together – it is the strongest way in which we communicate and develop relationships. Sometimes, though, the English language can fall short of our feelings, and we just can’t express ourselves through one single word. That’s where we turn to other languages for help. 

Here are some of our favourite untranslatable words from around the world with no direct English equivalent.

1. Eudaimonia

Meaning: The state of complete contentment when travelling. 

Language: Greek 

2. Fernweh

Meaning: A longing for faraway places. Similar to wanderlust, but it can also refer to places you’ve never visited.

Language: German

3. Dèrive

Meaning: To spontaneously wander, led by the landscape and architecture alone. 

Language: French

4. Resfeber

Meaning: The mixed emotions of fear and excitement before embarking on a journey.

Language: Swedish

5. Komorebi

Meaning: The sunlight streaming through the leaves of trees.

Language: Japanese

6. Novaturient

Meaning: Seeking meaningful change in your life that drives you to travel.

Language: Latin

7. Vagary

Meaning: A wandering journey.

Language: Latin

8. Sobremesa

Meaning: The time spent around a table after a meal. They have finished eating, but everyone remains at the table sharing stories, drinking wine or coffee and playing games. 

Language: Spanish

9. Trouvaille

Meaning: Something wonderful found by pure luck.

Language: French

10. Sehnsucht

Meaning: A pining for past travels and travels yet to come. 

Language: German

11. Hiraeth

Meaning: Originating from traditional Welsh poetry, this is a feeling of homesickness for a home you can never return to, which might not have existed in the first place.  

Language: Welsh

12. Gökotta

Meaning: To wake up early in the morning to go outside and listen to the early birds sing. 

Language: Swedish

If this has evoked a feeling of fernweh, then take a look at our collection of homes and start planning for when the time is right to travel again.

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