Have you ever had a feeling that you couldn’t quite describe, because no English word exists for it?
Indeed, without such a word, it’s difficult to remember or understand the feeling, and to talk about it with other people. This applies to all aspects of life, but most of all to that most sought-after of feelings, happiness, where our ability to both experience and understand it is limited by the words at our disposal.
However, all is not lost. Even if English has not created a word for a specific feeling, another language probably has. These are known as ‘untranslatable’ words, because they lack an exact equivalent in another language. By discovering and learning these words, the boundaries of our world expand accordingly. These words allow us to give voice to feelings that we’ve probably experienced, but have previously lacked the ability to conceptualise. They may even allow us to encounter new feelings that we hadn’t previously been aware of or enjoyed.
This book will introduce you to a wealth of untranslatable words relating to happiness, from languages across the world. Reading it will enrich not just your understanding of happiness, but also the way that you experience it.