Foreign Words to Help You Describe Falling in Love

In Entertainment, Fan Submission by Guest Poster0 Comments

Language is an incredible thing. The specificity of what one languages choose to express while others do not is mind blowing to say the least. The idea that there are words in one language that can never quite be captured in another has long captured people’s minds.

Of course, we all have words or phrases that have immense personal connotations, but the connotations of different words that are universally understood by native speakers of different dialects are often amazing—especially when it comes to love. Equally amazing are the seemingly universal concepts that go without names in one language, but are captured perfectly in a single term in another.

Here are some almost untranslatable words and phrases from around the world that aim describe the quirky behaviors and the indescribable feeling of being love:

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  • Cafuné (Portuguese, Brazil): physical intimacy, but specifically running your fingers tenderly through a loved one’s hair


  • Fernsterin (German): to come to or climb through a lover’s window at night


  • Forelsket (Finnish): the euphoric feeling when you are starting to fall in love


  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit): the feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to arrive at your home


  • Kär (Swedish): the early stages of falling in love, a stage of romantic feeling before you’re sure that you’re in love with someone


  • Kilig (Tagalog): the giddy excitement that you feel after something good happens in your love life


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  • Koi No Yokan (Japanese): the sense that you have just met someone that you could love one day, the anticipation of loving someone


  • La douleur exquise (French): the bittersweet pain of unrequited love


  • Litost (Czech): contextually used to mean the sadness brought on by running into a lost love, though it also means something like self-pity


  • Mamihilapinatani (Yaghan, Chile): a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other would initiate something that they both desire but which neither wants to begin


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  • Naz (Urdu, Pakistan): the boost in confidence derived from knowing that someone loves you, the validation that comes from being desired


  • Onsra (Boro, India): the knowledge that a romance won’t last, the bittersweet feeling of love fading


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  • Queesting (Dutch): inviting a lover into your bed for the express purpose of pillow talk


  • Razbiluto (Russian): the fond or sentimental feelings that you have towards someone you used to love


  • Retrouvailles (French): the elation felt upon reuniting with a lover after an extended absence


  • Saudade (Portuguese): the fruitless longing for a person from your past


  • Tuqburni (Arabic): the feeling that you could not survive without the person that you love


  • Viraag (Hindi): the specific pain of missing a loved one


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