Thursday, May 24, 2012

don't you worry your pretty little mind

As with all JIRA postings, please please please remember to WATCH, not VOTE, on this one, because this would be a really good feature for future viewers of Second Life to enable.

Plus, it would allow people to auto-archive their transaction histories without having to remember to drop by their SL history once per month, and, by making it an opt-in automatic bit of code, those who don't merchant wouldn't have to bother with it, and those who wanted the archiving service could opt in.

Other news. I tossed this link up to some friends, because linguistically, it's a lot of fun, but as one of them had an odd time accessing it in the first place, I figured I'd just pull out my favorites here.

Toska (Russian)

Vladmir Nabokov provides a description of the word, which is otherwise untranslatable to English:
"No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom."
Litost (Czechoslovakian)

The closest we can come to a semi-accurate translation into English, though it vastly understates the subtle nature of the word: Litost invokes the state of tormented anguish created by the sudden, startling comprehension of one's own spiritual misery.

Tartle (Scots Gaelic)

This is a fun word that should catch on for wider use, because it's pervasive in just about all cultures these days. A tartle is that hesitation or pause in introducing someone to someone else, because of the sudden realization you've forgotten their name.

Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese)

This describes the act of tenderly running one's fingers through someone's hair. English actually uses an entire phrase for this one word.

Ya’aburnee (Arabic)

Pronounced "yah-AH-born-nay", the literal meaning is "You bury me", but that rather misses the point. It's the generally unstated, but yearned-for hope that they will die before the beloved, because it would be so difficult to live on if the beloved died first.

Ilunga (Tshiluba)

This is a multifaceted word that expresses three different mental states--and according to the BBC news, it's the single hardest word to translate on the planet because of it. It references an individual who is ready to forgive any transgression once, to tolerate any transgression twice, but who will never tolerate that transgression a third time. This is another one we have an entire phrase for, rather than one single word.

Tingo (Pascuense, an Easter Island language)

Fascinating word: this refers to the act of taking objects one desires from a friend by slowly and gradually borrowing all of them until they are in one's own possession. Yeah, there's nothing quite like that in English.

Saudade (Portuguese)

This word refers to the longing for someone, or something one loves, which is vital to the heart and yet lost. The Portuguese song Lágrima is an excellent example of the folk-music "Fado", which reflects this loss and longing.

L’appel du vide (French)

Okay, this is a phrase, technically, but it's a three word phrase that literally translates to "the call of the void", which becomes a five-word phrase, and both refer to that sudden, nonsensical, and instinctive urge to jump from high places.


turnerBroadcasting said...


turnerBroadcasting said...

Emilly Orr said...

Now, I happen to like that song, and, even after the conversion and the calling for jihad, I still like Stevens as an artist, has what to do with untranslatable words and transaction histories?