Off topic: Let's borrow a few phrases from other languages


Did your latest keynoter leave attendees with a case of katahara itai (Japanese for laughing so hard their tummies hurt)? Or, heaven forbid, did you have a nakkele at your banquet (A Tulu, India word for someone who licks the plate food is served on)? English is pretty limited when you start looking at all the words and phrases we don't yet have (check out the BBC for more). A guy named Adam Jacot de Boinod actually collected a bunch of phrases from other languages that have no English equivalent in his book, The Meaning Of Tingo - a collection of words and phrases from around the world.

    Having pored over 280 dictionaries and trawled 140 websites, he is also convinced that a country's dictionary says more about a culture than a guide book. Hawaiians, for instance, have 108 words for sweet potato, 65 for fishing nets - and 47 for banana.

And we won't even go into Albania's 27 different words for moustaches...

Please or Register to post comments.

What's face2face?

An eclectic mix of news about meetings and events, hospitality, and business travel, along with helpful hints and the occasional rant.

Blog Archive

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×