I often get asked about the functional use of learning or knowing different languages and although it exists, it’s besides the point. Rumi once said “speak a new language so that the world will be a new world”. A different language is a different vision of life. Enjoy henat!
Fernweh (German): Literally translates into “farsickness”; being homesick for a place you’ve never been.
Schilderwald (German): Literally translates as “forest signs”; a street crowded with so many signs that you get lost.
Kyoikumama 教育ママ (Japanese): Literally translates as “education mother”; stereotype of a mother that relentlessly drives her child to study.
Wabi-Sabi 侘寂 (Japanese): By far one of my favourite words. “Wabi” on its own refers to the loneliness of living in nature and remote from society; “sabi” meant to “chill”. Wabi-Sabi is to find beauty in imperfections, to accept the cycle of life and death. There’s a whole Japanese aesthetic centered around this world-view, the most commonly known one being Zen gardens; their beauty imitates the intimate essence of nature with sand, gravel and rocks that are raked into form…yet it is impermanent.
Waldeinsamkeit (German): Translates literally as “into the forest solitude”. The feeling of being alone in the woods. Woodland solitude. Being engulfed by nature.
Age-otori 上げ劣り(Japanese): The state of looking worse after a haircut…hey, happens to the best of us.
Schadenfreude (German): Literally means “harm-joy”. It is the pleasure derived from the misfortunes of other. Closest English word to that is “gloating.”
Aware or “Mono no Aware” 物の哀れ (Japanese): Means “the pathos of things”. It is the awareness of impermanence and transience of things coupled with the transit gentle sadness at their passing and a deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.
Tsundoku 積ん読 (Japanese): Is the act of leaving book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other unread books. When I get into a bookstore I cannot leave without a book even though I have others to read waiting for me at home…yeah.
Komorebi 木漏れ日 (Japanese) : The sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees. The sort of scattered, dappled light effect that happens when sunlight shines through trees.
Schwellenangst (German): The fear of embarking upon something new, the fear of crossing a threshold.
Sehnsucht (German): An inconsolable yearning for a far, familiar land that one can identify as one’s home.
Ichi-go Ichi-e 一期一会 (Japanese): Literally means “one time, one meeting”; an encounter that only happens once in a lifetime. It is treasuring meetings with people, seeing them as once-in-a-lifetime.
Yūgen 幽玄 (Japanese): A certain awareness of the universe that triggers an emotional response too deep and mysterious for words
Satsukibare 五月晴れ (Japanese): Literally means “bright day of May”, which originally was used when there was a sunny day in the rainy season. I’m born in May, it’s kind of my favourite month so go Japan!
Kawaakari 川明かり(Japanese): The gleam of last light on a river’s surface a dusk; the glow of a river in the darkness. An evocative image that builds desire to be in front such river.
Fuubutsushi 風物詩 (Japanese): The things, feelings, scents, images that evoke memories or anticipation of a particular season.
Kintsukuroi 金繕い: To repair with gold; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken…the beauty in imperfection.