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Jul 2, 2011

"Being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means that you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean." --Toni Morrison

20 Untranslatable Words From 'Round The World

There are at least 250,000 words in the English language. But to think that English -- or any language -- could hold enough expression to convey the entirety of the human experience is naive. For example, 'Toska,' from Russian, which is a kind of dull ache of the soul. Or 'Mamihlapinatapei,' from Yagan, describing the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start. Here are twenty such examples where other languages have found the right word and English is either speechless -- or too verbose.

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