10 Wondrous Words from Foreign Languages That Can’t Be Translated into English

10 Wondrous Words from Foreign Languages That Can’t Be Translated into English

Book Culture

Mamihlapinatapai. Bet you don’t know what that means, and why would you anyway? It’s one of the hundreds of words in the world that simply cannot be translated into English. There is no equivalent or easy way to express it, they’re just that beautiful that they have to stay as they are.   Thanks to Ella Frances Sanders’ book, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, we now get these quirky phrases and what they mean. The mark left on your skin after wearing something tight? There’s a name for that. That homesick feeling for a …

10 Wondrous Words from Foreign Languages That Can't Be Translated into English

10 Wondrous Words from Foreign Languages That Can't Be Translated into English

Book Culture

Mamihlapinatapai. Bet you don’t know what that means, and why would you anyway? It’s one of the hundreds of words in the world that simply cannot be translated into English. There is no equivalent or easy way to express it, they’re just that beautiful that they have to stay as they are.   Thanks to Ella Frances Sanders’ book, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, we now get these quirky phrases and what they mean. The mark left on your skin after wearing something tight? There’s a name for that. That homesick feeling for a …

The Etymology of Oranges: Which Came First, the Word or the Fruit?

The Etymology of Oranges: Which Came First, the Word or the Fruit?

Book Culture

Orange is the new… word. Seriously, it’s only been around since the Renaissance. Before that, English speakers were making do with the term ‘yellow-red,’ or even referring to orange things as simply ‘red.’ The word orange was only invented following the fruit’s arrival in Europe.    In their article on the subject, Atlas Obscura notes that “the roots of the word “orange” come from the Sanskrit term for the orange tree: nāraṅga. Traders traveled with the nāraṅga across the Middle East, and it became the Arabic naaranj. When Islamic rule spread to southern Italy and Spain in the Middle Ages, the orange tree made it to Europe.” …

Harry Potter Helped Bridge Cultural Gaps at This University

Harry Potter Helped Bridge Cultural Gaps at This University

Book Culture

The Harry Potter series has touched so many across the globe. Central Michigan University chose to celebrate this global diversity by having a team of students, faculty, and international students turn up on February 22nd to do a multilingual reading of the fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix!   Image Via BBR Education   From 4:30 PM to 10:30 PM, thirteen languages were celebrated in this multilingual reading at Central Michigan University. The school hopes that the reading will encourage students to study languages other than their first, and the turnout was encouraging! Twenty-three students and faculty actually participated in the reading, but many more showed …

I Call Shenanigans on Single Nouns With Plural Spellings

I Call Shenanigans on Single Nouns With Plural Spellings

Book Culture

The English language is ridiculous. There are all sorts of rules that aren’t actually rules, like “I before E except after C,” which, unfortunately enough for both ESOL students and English-speaking students, is more often than not incorrect.   And then there are words that are plural, even when they’re singular. These words are known as pluralia tantum, which is Latin for “plural only.” Here are ten of the most common.   Image via Fast Co. Designs   Like number two on our list, you could say that the plurality comes from the multiple parts that form a whole. Scissors have two blades, after …