WALDEINSAMKEIT

The German word waldeinsamkeit denotes the feeling of being alone in the woods. There is no such word in the English language. If we are alone in the woods, and we want to express how it feels, we are forced to use lots of words. Some of us might even write a poem about it, and attempt to capture – in the sounds of the words and the rhythm of the lines – the quality of being alone in the woods. Perhaps this is what Robert Frost was doing, when he wrote the poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Which makes me think it is a good thing that he wasn’t German, otherwise he might not have bothered.

The Italian word culaccino refers to the mark left on a table by a cold glass. I doubt anyone has ever written a poem about that.

For other words that don’t translate into English, click here.

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