The Magic of "Untranslatable"



Words, words are embedded within complex webs of meanings and traditions. As such, even if languages seem to have roughly equivalent words, translators have long argued that something precious is always lost in the act of translation. As we contemplate the words, we can possibly divide them into three categories. Firstly, there are words that spark an immediate flash of recognition; I know the feeling well. Secondly, there are words I think I’m familiar with, but which still leave us intrigued, as if their full meaning and significance eludes us. Then finally, there are words that seem utterly beyond our ken, but nevertheless completely captivate us