Beautiful Words in Other Languages: 12 Words That Don’t Exist in English

As great as the English language is, it has its limitations. 

Luckily, other languages from around the world often offer the solution to the language limitation issue.

If you expand your horizons by opening your mind to beautiful words and phrases from languages around the world, and you’ll always know just what to say.

So let’s take a look at how 12 beautiful words we just can’t find the words for in English!


1. Douleur Exquise

Language: French

beautiful words in other languages

Love. The gift and the curse. The be all and end all. We all know what it feels like to love someone. It’s the best feeling in the world—when it’s reciprocated.

There’s arguably no worse feeling than the pain of unrequited love. Many of us know the feeling of looking on at that other person wanting nothing more than to be forever wrapped in their arms, but knowing it will never happen because they don’t love you back.

It’s painful. It’s horrible. It’s douleur exquise.

Meaning: The pain of unrequited love.

2. Sobremesa

Language: Spanish

beautiful words in other languages

There are little joys in life like that of gathering together for a meal with family and close friends. The food, the drinks and the laughter can make for great memories.

We get so swept up in the conversation that hours can slip by unnoticed. In Latin cultures this practice is so common that they even came up with a word for it.

Meaning: The conversation at the table that continues after a meal is over.

3. Heimat  

Language: German

beautiful words in other languages

Most of us associate who we are with where we come from. The food, the music, the art, friends, family, school, childhood memories and adulthood experiences all stem from the place we call home. 

Heimat refers to the place that makes us who we are. It refers to the attitudes and beliefs we’ve formed that have evolved over generations. It doesn’t refer to just homeland pride, but our roots.

Meaning: The place we’re connected to that shaped who we are.

4. Forelsket

Language: Norwegian

beautiful words in other languages

Is it infatuation? Fascination? Obsession? This is the word to describe that giddy feeling when we haven’t reached the point of “I love you,” but we’re past the initial crush phase.

In English the best we’ve got for the feeling in this stage of a relationship is “I really, really like you a lot” or “I like like you.” If you ask a Norwegian, they’ll say it’s forelsket.

Meaning: The feelings you have when you’re falling in love with someone but you haven’t quite reached love yet.

5. Hyggeligt 

Language: Danish

beautiful words in other languages

This is that feeling you get when you’re cuddled up with that special someone, or when your mom makes your favorite meal while you’re home for the holidays.

Maybe you get it when you’re curled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa watching Netflix. It’s that warm tingly feeling of comfort in your chest and your bones that makes you want to stay in the moment forever.

Meaning: A feeling of extreme comfort or coziness.

6. Тоска (Toska)

Language: Russian

beautiful words in other languages

It’s been said that no words in the English language could ever capture the full meaning of toska. Let’s give it a shot anyway. This word is used to describe a deep, dark feeling of despair.

It’s the ultimate feeling of yearning and hopelessness. It’s the kind of pain that tortures the soul. It’s pure, unadulterated, heart-wrenching sadness—something we’d all like to feel on a very infrequent basis.

Meaning: A feeling a deep spiritual anguish for no specific reason.

7. 浮世絵  (Ukiyo-e)

Language: Japanese

beautiful words in other languages

This word literally means “floating world,” but it’s used to describe people who don’t take a second of their life for granted. They live in the present and don’t let the small things get to them.

As difficult as this level of enlightenment is to achieve, how great would it be if we could all just let the small things roll off of our backs?

Meaning: Someone who lives in the moment and is detached from the minor distractions in life.

8. Gigil

Language: Filipino, Tagalog

beautiful words in other languages

There’s the adorable baby in the supermarket waving at all the passersby. Then there’s the mischievous cat that knocks your morning coffee off of the counter before you’ve had a single sip.

Both of them exhibit such intense cuteness that they give you this extreme urge of wanting to squeeze them, and that’s what this word tries to capture. 

The closest phrase in the English language for this word and sensation is “I could just eat you up.” However, the English phrase only captures the positive end of this sensation.

Meaning: The sudden urge to want to squeeze someone or something out of extreme cuteness or irritation.

9. เกรงใจ (Kreng-jai)


Language: Thai

The world would be a much happier place if everyone showed some common courtesy. However, it would be utopia if everyone showed some kreng-jai.

The sentiment behind this word is related to an extreme sense of courtesy. It comes from a place of not wanting anyone to have to inconvenience themselves for you. “Please don’t go to any trouble,” is generally something we say to be polite. If the other person insists, a lot of the time we cave.

Kreng-jai is the opposite. You would still insist that the other person doesn’t go to any trouble.

Meaning: Not wanting someone to have to go out of their way for you.

10. Jayus

Language: Indonesian

Two men walk into a bar, you’d think one of them would have seen it. Yup. The bad joke. Don’t worry, I’ll keep my day job. 

Most of the time when someone tells a bad joke the room falls into that uncomfortable awkward silence, and the joke teller ends up mortified. However, sometimes a joke is so astonishingly bad that we can’t help but laugh at it.

It’s one of those stolen moments of joy where, fortunately, no one’s pride is injured in the process.

Meaning: A joke so bad or told so poorly that one can’t help but laugh.

11. تقبرني (To’oborni)

Language: Arabic

Early on we got a taste of the pain of unrequited love, but now we’re in the realm of unconditional love.

This is a word used for that person who you love so much that you would rather die than be on this earth without them. It’s appropriate for use between parent and child, romantic partners and even close friends.

Meaning: You bury me; I love you so much that I want to die before you.

12. Ilunga (Ee-lun-ga)

Language: Tshiluba

beautiful words in other languages

This is from a language spoken in a region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

It may be one of the hardest words to translate because it has so many layered meanings. This one little word touches on patience, forgiveness and breaking points.

Meaning: A person who will forgive someone for the first offense against them, tolerate it a second time, but will not forgive them for a third time.


As you can see, it’s a big, beautiful world out there.

Ready to start exploring?

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