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.

Niksen is a Dutch concept that translates to doing literally nothing; to be idle, to spend time doing something of no purpose.  

Sometimes embracing the state of doing absolutely nothing – and being completely unproductive, can have great value, even if it goes against our every instinct. In the modern world, people are conditioned to go-go-go, to utilize every second of the day, and occupy every moment with some form of activity or stimulation. This results in us becoming overstimulated and stressed, burnt out, and more susceptible to falling ill. It’s exhausting.

But embracing niksen, the idea of it can sound a little … boring. However, recent studies have shown that boredom is fertile ground for the mental state

Niksen can be practiced in many different ways. Have you ever found yourself sitting on the edge of your bed, staring at the ground, still wrapped in your towel? Lying in the grass, and staring at the sky, or staring out the window on the way into work. When you catch yourself doing this, resist the temptation to reach for your phone. If you’re lucky, you may even experience “Rasasvada,” the Sanskrit word for the bliss that comes from the absence of all thoughts. 

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

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