Words that English needs but doesn’t have. Many people know and use the first one, along with the rest of my favorites:*
1 Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut
2 Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude
4 Bakku-shan (Japanese): A beautiful girl… as long as she’s being viewed from behind
7 Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love
11 L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it
19 Schadenfreude (German): the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain
21 Taarradhin (Arabic): implies a happy solution for everyone, or “I win. You win.” It’s a way of reconciling without anyone losing face. Arabic has no word for “compromise,” in the sense of reaching an arrangement via struggle and disagreement
22 Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively
23 Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left
I don’t like # 21 that much, but it is the essence of economics … in fact, there’s a similar meaning to the title of this blog.
* My 5 years of K-12 Spanish must’ve been OK, because I already knew # 6.