I love words. I’m a big fan. I’m not the brightest person when it comes to using words but I’m trying to improve and find them incredibly interesting to learn about. Sometimes this is in the form of over analyzing how sentences are phrased or just looking up the definition of a word I’d never seen before. You know, learning. Subsequently, the built-in dictionary in my Kindle is my new best friend (until it gets replaced with a new cell phone come July when my contract is up) and I try hard to word things perfectly, in this blog and elsewhere.
Anyways, I was recently pointed to an interesting article, Ten Most Difficult Words to Translate. The word, ilunga, apparently tops many lists including this one. It’s defined as:
a person who is ready to forgive any abuse the first time it occurs, to tolerate it the second time, but to neither forgive nor tolerate a third offense.
That’s a good one and its specificity is what makes it so hard to translate, though I found a different favorite on that list. I’m probably biased since I perform a lot of comedy but my favorite is, jayus:
From Indonesian, meaning a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.
This hits close to home. In fact, the reason someone suggested the list to me was because I was trying to describe a jayus to someone and struggled to put it into words. I’m sure people have laughed at me for this very reason (see: so stupid) and I know I’ve returned the favor many times.