Most people know what the German word schadenfreude means and how there is no direct correlation in English. But do you know about the Indonesian word jayus or the Brazilian Portuguese cafuné? Respectively they mean “a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh” and “the act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.”

Naturally, there are many words like this, ones that are impossible to quite express across linguistic lines. If you’d like to know more, you can take a look at 20 examples of such words, or listen to Christopher J. Moore speak about a few he highlights in his book In Other Words: A Language Lover’s Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World.

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