Beautiful & Untranslatable: Words from Around the World

While English increases in popularity, there are words and phrases commonly found in various other languages that will never be directly translatable. We’re here to celebrate these beautiful, strange, and often elaborate expressions that hold importance to their respective cultures.


Born from some of the oldest and richest languages on this Earth, Portuguese  gradually evolved from when the Romans entered the peninsula around 200 BCE and at that point, only Celtiberian languages were spoken. These historical events led to the development of Portuguese as a Latin language over time with multiple variations. Holding 260 million speakers in Portugal (nowhere else in Europe), Brazil (nowhere else in South America), Africa (S. Tomé e Princípe, Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique) and Timor.

With a difficult, yet strict set of conjugation rules, Portuguese phrasing is often tough for new speakers to master. The term in Portuguese from Portugal itself, desenrascanço describes the process of solving a problem without seemingly adequate techniques.

See more beautiful, untranslatable words and phrases from languages all around the world!