Four More Words The English Language Really Needs

The English language is beautiful, complex, and sometimes unwieldy. Even with its nuance and vast selection of words, however, the English language has gaps where other languages don't. Sometimes the human condition and our complicated world just need a word that English doesn't have. Here are four words from other languages that we either need to adopt or establish our own version of: 

1. Tartle

What a novel idea - a word for a situation that nearly everyone has found themselves in!Tartle is that point in time where you forget someone's name, but you're supposed to be saying the name, most often in introduction. In English, we just call it awkward, but "tartle" has a much nicer ring to it, don't you think?

2. Cernes

Ever been tired and had bags under your eyes? You're human, of course you have. But in France, you wouldn't need to use four words to describe the unsightly look of a night without sleep. The French simply call those dark circles "cernes." 

3. Tsundoku

Have a pile of books you've owned forever, keep adding to, but have never read? If you live in Japan, you'd be committing tsundoku, a very useful Japanese word for the book hoarders in the world. 

4. Mencolek

April Fools Day must be wild in Indonesia. They have formal words for classic tricks! Mencolek is the Indonesia word for what in English we are forced to call "the lame prank where you tap someone on the wrong shoulder but are really on the other side so they look and don't see anything but immediately know what happened because that is literally the oldest trick in the book." Mencolek is much more efficient to say, don't you think?

English, for all your charm, you can make things just a little too complicated sometimes. These four words are only a few of the probably hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of words foreign languages simply do better than English. 

Dave Child

Dave is the founder of Readable.io, and has been building websites since the early 90s. He's one of those fortunate people who gets to do what he loves for a living.

       


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