Challenges of intercultural communication

abril 2nd, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | Did you know...? | International | Localización | Marketing | SeproTec - (Comentarios desactivados)

Globalization gives you the opportunity to expand your business into other countries and to find and explore new markets in which to sell your products or services. Yet the overall global context does not mean that countries are giving up their cultural roots. When taking your brand into a country you don’t know, transcreation is the way to go. Transcreation means being aware of intercultural differences and analyzing them so as to adapt your communication to a different culture.

‘Transcreation goes beyond creative translation,’ says transcreation expert from Transcreat, agency with which SeproTec workd on a regular basis,

‘ You should forget old translation concepts of fidelity and transparency. Transcreation is about recreation. You should read an original and then forget its wording but keep in mind its meaning. When you have forgotten how this meaning was described in the original, you will be able to recreate it into another language based on the context, culture and idiosyncrasies of the people who are going to read your work.’

Expand your communication possibilities 

When you want to move your business to other countries, you find yourself having to make a huge marketing effort to achieve the desired levels of success. Globalization provides you with a world of business opportunities, but the fact that the world has never been more connected doesn’t mean the end of cultural and communication barriers between cultures.


What must you do to establish your business in a new country?

It has been shown that consumers are put off by poorly translated websites and tend not to trust them. This occurs with sites with text that is full of spelling mistakes, poorly translated or simply poorly written. This is not the only important aspect, though.

Have your website well translated and adapt it to your target market if you want to be successful

If you really want to expand your brand and increase your sales in a new country, having your website well translated is not enough.

- Adapt all your messages, your communication style and your campaigns to adjust them not only to a new language, but also to a new culture.

- Recruit native staff to ensure that your strategies are best suited to the values and characteristics that define your new audience.

A new communication structure

All too often, when we talk about starting to sell in another country, the first and only thing that comes to mind is translating our website, but this is by no means the only thing you are going to have to adapt.

- New country is synonymous with new bureaucracy and with building relationships with suppliers and distributors based there.

- If you have to change currencies, the best thing to do is review your entire pricing policy. Every culture has its own way of understanding prices and this is no trivial matter. Get in contact with experts if you feel unsure.

- Specific characteristics can also influence the design of your website, the colors used and even the type of people who appear in your visuals, videos and advertising spots.

Transcreation shows itself to be the most effective strategy. If you want to be successful, make sure you don’t focus all your effort just on a good translation, but also consider all the dimensions that influence your communications in the new country.
‘As the world we live in becomes more globalized, digital and diversified, and markets continue to broaden, new challenges arise,’ adds Arcelino Monteiro, one of our most trusted and experienced transcreation experts, ‘Never before has a service been in such high demand and as necessary and urgent as it is today: transcreation, a powerful globalization tool that takes into account heritage, local values, beliefs and cultures aspects to convey a message in a way that appeals to a different culture, reaching their hearts and minds and evoking emotions.’

According to Arcelino, main challenges when working on a transcreation project are:

• Puns;

• Idioms;

• Proverbs;

• Slogans;

and character limits (when they are applied).

SeproTec’s pioneering transcreation service involves translators, proofreaders, testers, creators and marketing and communication experts working together. This service is indispensable for reaching any market.

SeproTec Translator of the Month: February 2019

marzo 20th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce the second winner of the 2019 edition of our Translator of the Month action!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

In this ocassion we would like you to meet Alexander Lichanow, one of our most trusted German translators.

What do you start your work day with?

I get up on my own terms (no alarm clock!) since I have become quite an early bird in the past years. I brew up some coffee, feed our cats and then boot up my PC. Then I spend about half an hour listening to music and reading some news before actually getting to work. My focus is best in the morning, so I make sure to take my break by noon to restore some focus. I am working on large jobs more often than not but I always make sure to make space for “breakfast jobs”, as I am calling small jobs that take no more than an hour to complete. I handle those jobs as a “warm-up” for the large chunk of work coming up with my larger jobs.

Why did you choose translation as a career?

I always had a knack for languages, which was probably inspired by our move from Kazakhstan to Germany when I was 7 years old. As a child, I felt the urge to integrate myself into the surrounding culture so I made a point to learn German as quickly and proficiently as possible. Later, at secondary school (“Gymnasium” in Germany) I realized that my talents were definitely not with maths or sciences. When I was in 10th or 11th grade, the translators’ academy where I did my studies was presented at my school, so from this point on I knew for certain that I would go ahead to pursue a career as a translator.

What advice would you give to beginner translators?

First and foremost: Don’t ever feel compelled to do badly paid work! Even if you are just starting out, your work still has its value, and if you are going to pay your bills by translating, low rates just won’t do the trick. Also, don’t bite off more than you can chew (sort of goes hand in hand with not accepting low rates). Sure, you CAN do those 10k words within a day, I have been there myself. But neither the quality of your translations nor your personal wellbeing should suffer from this. Find a viable volume for your everyday work and don’t deviate from it too regularly.

What are the most common translation problems in German, your mother tongue?

German tends to be pretty verbose, which is especially egregious when translating PowerPoints or other files with space restrictions. Software strings will have to be abbreviated or otherwise clipped more often than not. Also, most machines (see question 6 below) are completely overwhelmed with the three grammatical genders and case-based inflections, which makes editing machine translations – which are horrible to begin with in most cases – extremely tedious and frustrating.

What do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?

The PMs I have worked with so far are very friendly and understanding, I am getting a very constant flow of work (SeproTec IS my largest and most important customer after all), mostly without having to overstrain my capacity, and payments are always on time, which is not a matter of course in today’s translation business.

Human translation vs Machine Translation: what is your opinion?

100% human translation! First of all, I actually enjoy my job as a translator, not so much as an editor. I enjoy having the freedom to convey concepts, not just translate mere words. Also, while I absolutely recognize the future aim of machine translation for both translators and end-clients (faster turnaround for the client, less work per job for translators), commercial machines at their current state as of March 2019 are horrible. This makes editing those “masterpieces” at a reduced rate an extreme headache absolutely not worth the time and nerves spent/wasted/lost on this work. Mark my words: If Skynet ever takes over the world, I did nothing to contribute to it

SeproTec Translator of the Month: December 2018

enero 17th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of the new year we have a pleasure to announce the fifteenth winner of our monthly action: Translator of the Month, December 2018!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

We would like you to meet Elettra Zanetti, and invite you to read an interview with her.

Elettra, what do you start your work day with?

I usually spend half an hour playing with my dog or cuddling her. Then, we share breakfast, she has her own biscuit with some water and I have mine with some milk or a cup of tea. As a matter of fact, I am no fan of daily routine, so every day can be different depending on my commitments.  Whenever possible I’d rather start working late in the morning, continue until late evening and then, after practising some swimming, through the night. I enjoy working at night when it is quiet and silence surrounds me. It helps me concentrate and achieve my best results. On the other hand, I am a late sleeper and seldom wake up before 9 am.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in translation?

Eight years ago. I had been working as a Sales Administration Officer for a multinational company for some years. It was a nice job in a steady company, but the routine was killing me. At that time, translating contracts from English into Italian was one of my tasks. One day, something clicked inside my brain and I asked myself “Why not?”. I took a year leave and attended an MA course in Translation and Interpreting in London. When I returned to Italy, I started my own business as a freelance translator

Being a freelancer, how do you find balance between work and private life?

I juggle tasks, commitments and affections. It is kind of every-day tuning and I work on it with my husband an my family. According to my experience, every career implies sacrifice and self-denial from us and a lot of understanding from those living with us. Prioritizing is capital and I have made a point of sparing some time for myself every day. I call it my “airtime”. It helps me to relax, and provides me the energy to manage everything.

What do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?

My feeling is that Seprotec is a well-organized company, at least as far a project management is involved. However, in my opinion, no matter how well structured a company can be, it needs smart people there to keep it going. All the PMs I have worked with in Seprotec have proved to be great professionals and nice human beings, which is the perfect combination.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges the translation industry is facing nowadays?

The challenge could be summarized in two words: time and quality. Deadlines are becoming increasingly tighter and it requires a cool head and a wealth of professionalism, efficiency and expertise to meet them all while producing quality work.

Which is your favourite book?

This is a difficult question! I love a bunch of them. But if I absolutely have to pick one, then it is The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham. It is a novel about the hard path to enlightment and happiness which actually lie in spirituality and knowledge, far from the conventional, materialistic life that most people pursue.

Thank you, Elettra! Working with you is a real plasure. Enjoy your SeproHoodie! ;)

 

What does a medical interpreter do?

noviembre 20th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog - (Comentarios desactivados)

The medical interpreter plays a very important role, providing essential support in the healthcare industry. Few things are as critical as one’s wellbeing. Contextualized translation goes beyond words alone in order to also understand the emotional impact a medical situation can have on a person’s life.

At SeproTec, we have extensive experience with in-person interpretation for both public and private institutions.  In this article, we discuss the importance of this profession in the healthcare industry.

The importance of medical interpreters in the healthcare industry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communication Assistance for Foreign Patients

Often, the medical interpreter acts as a kind of mediator between doctor and patient. In this regard, they have an ethical responsibility to faithfully transmit a message to the patient regarding the observations made by the specialist, and vice versa. In the context of the healthcare industry, providing excellent interpreting is paramount/invaluable/of the utmost importance.

At the same time, this is one of the most private aspects of a person’s life. Issues relating to a person’s clinical history are very private and intimate matters. Part of the ethical code of an interpreter is respect for the privacy of every person. In some cases, they even sign confidentiality agreements.

At all times, communication is an especially important priority. When a patient doesn’t speak the same language as their doctor, they feel disoriented and uneasy. An interpreter specialized in this field provides emotional closeness for these patients, so that they feel more secure because they understand what is happening, thanks to the interpretation. The patient receives answers to all their questions.

This is very human work, and so the interpreter must be introspective in order to be truly involved in the case, while also controlling their emotions and preventing each situation from affecting them personally. Maintaining objectivity is probably one of the most complicated aspects of this profession.

In a large majority of cases, medical interpretation is provided for patients who have a very different culture from our own. As such, the interpreter must have an understanding of both cultures that goes beyond the language itself.  Hesitance about being treated by someone of the opposite sex or undergoing certain medical tests and formality of treatment are just some of the aspects which the interpreter must consider in order to do their job well.

It is also important that medical interpreters be familiar with the functioning of the national health system of the country where they practice, as well as the documentation that is regularly used in this industry.

The work of the interpreter is made even more complex by the difficulty of medical language, which includes technical concepts and specific terminology. Just as a doctor may see their work as a personal calling, interpreters working in this field often feel the same. This personal assistance is as valuable as medicine itself.

Interpretation in Service of Medicine

The interpreting modalities most often used include bilateral interpreting, liaison interpreting, and sight translation of documents, records, prescriptions, etc.

This assistance can be provided in person. However, thanks to the power of new communications tools and technology, interpreting can also be carried out remotely by video call or telephone.

The work of a medical interpreter is essential to both doctors and patients.

¿Qué hace un intérprete sanitario?

noviembre 20th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog - (Comentarios desactivados)

La profesión de intérprete sanitario es muy importante por todo lo que significa esta labor de apoyo en el sector. Pocas cuestiones son tan trascendentales como el bienestar. La traducción contextualizada en este ámbito va más allá de las propias palabras al comprender, también, la influencia emocional que una circunstancia médica puede producir en la vida de una persona.

En SeproTec disponemos de amplia experiencia en la interpretación presencial tanto en instituciones públicas como privadas. En este artículo, analizamos la importancia de esta figura profesional en el ámbito sanitario.

The importance of medical interpreters in the healthcare industry

Apoyo de comunicación a pacientes extranjeros

El experto realiza en muchos momentos una labor de mediación entre el médico y el paciente. Desde esta perspectiva, tiene la responsabilidad ética de transmitir un mensaje fiel al paciente sobre aquellas observaciones realizadas por el especialista y viceversa. La importancia de una interpretación excelente en este tipo de situación es más que evidente si pensamos en el cuidado de la salud.

A su vez, este es uno de los aspectos más privados en la vida de una persona. Aquellas cuestiones que tienen que ver con su historia clínica forman parte de su propia intimidad. Dentro del código deontológico de un intérprete se encuentra el respeto a la privacidad de cada ser humano. Incluso se firman acuerdos de confidencialidad en algunas ocasiones.

La comunicación es una necesidad de expresión muy importante en cualquier momento. Por esta razón, cuando un paciente no habla el mismo idioma que su médico se siente desorientado e intranquilo. Un intérprete especializado en este sector es una figura de cercanía emocional para esa persona, que se siente más segura al poder entender qué está ocurriendo gracias a la interpretación. El paciente obtiene una respuesta a todas sus dudas.

Este es un papel tan humano que el intérprete tiene que realizar un trabajo de introspección para implicarse en el caso, controlando las emociones, pero sin llevarse cada situación al plano personal. Mantener la objetividad es probablemente uno de los aspectos más complicados de esta especialidad.

En un gran porcentaje, esta actividad se realiza con pacientes con una cultura muy diferente a la nuestra, por lo que los conocimientos del intérprete respecto a ambas culturas deben ir mucho más allá que el dominio del idioma. La reticencia a ser atendido por facultativos de otro sexo, la resistencia de algunas culturas a realizarse ciertas pruebas médicas y/o la formalidad en el trato son, entre otros, aspectos que un intérprete debe tener en cuenta para realizar bien su trabajo.

Es también importante que los intérpretes del ámbito sanitario estén familiarizados con el funcionamiento del Sistema Nacional de Salud del país en el que ejercen su profesión, así como con los documentos más habituales que se manejan en el sector.

La complejidad de la función del intérprete es visible por la propia dificultad que tiene el lenguaje médico a través de conceptos y tecnicismos de este campo semántico. Así como la profesión de médico es profundamente vocacional, la labor del intérprete que trabaja en este campo también puede serlo. Este apoyo personal es tan valioso como la propia medicina.

La interpretación al servicio de la medicina

Respecto a las modalidades de interpretación, se usan ante todo la interpretación bilateral o de enlace y la traducción a la vista de documentos, historiales, recetas, etc.

Este apoyo puede realizarse de manera presencial. Pero, además, gracias al poder de las tecnologías y de las nuevas formas de comunicación, también es posible llevar a cabo esta labor de interpretación a través de una videoconferencia en una situación de distancia o a través de interpretación por teléfono, por ejemplo.

La labor de un intérprete sanitario es fundamental para médicos y pacientes.

SeproTec Translator of the Month: October 2018

noviembre 16th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec | Traducción | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

We announce the thirteenth winner of our Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

In this ocassion we would like you to meet Piotr Tomsia and we would like to invite you to read a short interview with him.

Piotr, what do you start your work day with?

I am an avid fan of daily routines, so I always try to start my days off in a similar fashion. Almost every day I get up at 6 AM. Next, I make some coffee (and I’m an even bigger fan of coffee) and sit down with my laptop. I spend the next 30 to 45 minutes reading. It’s not purely for informative reasons. It also helps me get in rhythm for the day. After about an hour I start proofreading translations from the day before. This way, I get to do some work before the usual 9 AM deadlines and find time for sports (mostly basketball!) and other activities in the afternoon.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in translation?

I believe I first started considering a career in translation in high school. However back then I mostly wanted to work with languages in any kind of manner. It was only a couple of years later, at university, that I realized translation and interpreting were the two things that I enjoyed the most. After graduating I started an internship, which convinced me that this was the right thing to do. It also helped to have some of the nicest and brightest people I have ever met as my teachers.

 If you could speak any foreign language, which would it be and why?

My wife always tells me I have a knack for Italian. I do love this country and its culture (food isn’t bad either, right?) so there must be something in it. It would also be nice to speak Mandarin and see what that part of the world is up to. Or maybe Japanese? It’s very hard to pick just one but I would ultimately go with Italian. It would greatly help with exploring the country’s culinary secrets J

What do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?

This particular question is easier because the thing that I enjoy the most is also the thing that I am most impressed with. It’s the work culture. SeproTec is like a well-oiled machine. Every person in the company that I interact with is very professional and goes above and beyond to make everything clear, provide help and answer every single question. It makes my work a lot less complicated!

 In your opinion, which are the most important challenges in the translation industry nowadays?

In my view, the most important challenge that the translation industry (or maybe the translators themselves) faces is the pace of work and ever-tighter deadlines. Clients often require very quick services. It may pose a problem since everyone has to work on several projects at the same time. This in turn requires greater efficiency and organizational skills, and not everyone is up for the challenge.

 

Thank you Piotr, dzięki! Enjoy your SeproTec hoodie and thank you for your cooperation!

SeproTec Translator of the Month: July 2018

agosto 22nd, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce the tenth winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

In this ocassion we would like you to meet Violet Long, a well-know professional of this house, that has been accompanying us for over a decade.

 

What do you start your work day with?

My work day starts with a glass of orange juice and reviewing my Excel spreadsheet of projects, which are ordered by due date.  Then I check my e-mail to see what new offers have come in.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in translation?

I actually fell back into translation after spending over 20 years of teaching English as a Foreign Language and linguistics.  (My first degree was in translation and interpreting, Spanish and French.)   I was ‘burned out’ by teaching and translation is a great way to put together my language skills and my years of correcting student papers in fractured English!

If you hadn’t become a translator, what do you think you would have done?

I can’t imagine doing anything but translating now.  In the past it was not my first choice, I opted for teaching, but now it offers me the possibility of working from home, working as much as I want (which is usually too much!) while earning more money than I ever made as a teacher and learning about a multitude of subjects, from serious science to the most frivolous fashion.

After more than 10 years of collaboration, what do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?

I enjoy working with Seprotec because, first of all, the project managers are all very friendly and helpful. Some I have been working with for over 10 years and they are like old friends, even though I have never met them face to face. Secondly, the company is very professional: the projects are well organized; if there are complaints over a translation, I have the opportunity to defend my wording; invoices are paid on time…

What do you think are the greatest challenges for the translation industry today?

The greatest challenge for the industry, from a translator’s point of view, is keeping up with the technology.  At the same time, technology is a double-edged sword.  On the positive side, having a fast, reliable computer, a fast connection for handling big files, and software that makes the translation process easier, plus, of course, that infinite source of knowledge, the Internet, are a boon to all translators.  However, on the negative side, the use of automatic translation can lead to stilted, unnatural translations that take more time to review than they would to translate from scratch, and the Internet is also full of misleading articles that are themselves bad translations!    Also, investing in the latest technology is expensive and can even be counter-productive, e.g., if the client has not invested in the latest version and there is no backward compatibility.

What is your life motto?

My motto is “Patience et longueur du temps font plus que force ni rage” (Patience and length of time do more than force and rage – La Fontaine).  It reminds me to take a deep breath when I get upset and frustrated as staying calm makes it much easier to find a solution to any problem.   I read this quote first at school in French class, in a La Fontaine fable, and it has been my motto ever since.

 

Thank you Violet from SeproTec’s team.  Enjoy you hoodie!

 

SeproTec Translator of the Month: June 2018

agosto 6th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | Localización | SeproTec | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)

 

Let us announce the ninth winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

We have launched the initiative back in September 2017 and this is a way to say Thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

 

Meet Sandrine Harris! Sandrine was so kind to answer our questions – so here we go!

What do you start your work day with?

I always start my day with a cup of tea while going through my e-mails and checking my planning for the day.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue translation career?

I became a translator 20 years ago when I moved from England to Reims, France to follow my husband. At the time I was a R&D Manager for a cosmetic company but if I wanted to get a similar job, I would have had to travel over 2 hours as the companies were located in Paris so I did not consider this option having a young child. By chance, I came across a job advertisement looking for a freelance FR-EN patent translator in Chemistry. My scientific background fitted their requirements and it all started from there.

If you wouldn´t have become a translator, then what would you do?

I probably would still be a R&D Manager in a chemistry company and as a consequence not spending too much time with my family.

What do you enjoy about working with SeproTec?

I like all the team members I have worked with so far. Everybody is very nice, so polite, supportive and proactive. SeproTec recognize the good work done and it is great to be rewarded.

 What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

I think the biggest challenges are to be better than machine translation tools that have been improving at a fast rate over the last 5 years. To do so, the translator must be fast, reliable, very accurate and provide perfect and high quality translations.

What is your favourite book?

It’s a recent French book and I do not think it has been translated so far: “Juste avant le Bonheur” by Agnès Ledig. I love her style and the positive message she conveyed despite such tragic events.

 

Thank you, Sandrine, and enjoy your SeproTec hoodie! It’s a real pleasure to work with you :)

 

SeproTec Translator of the Month: May 2018

junio 25th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce the eight winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

We have launched the initiative back in September 2017 and this is a way to say Thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

Meet Raffaele Tutino, our May Translator of the Month and read our interview with him.

What do you start your work day with?

Usually I start the day checking the news that I can easily find through social apps on my mobile phone, like Twitter and LinkedIn, then I check my email.

 

When did you realize you wanted to pursue translation career?

After a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, I attended a master’s degree in Software Localization. During this course I understood that I wanted to become a translator.

 

If you wouldn´t have become a translator, then what would you do?

Maybe a University researcher in French literature. Fortunately, apart from being a freelance translator, currently I’m also working as a professor at University but in Translation subjects.

 

What do you enjoy about working with SeproTec?

The project managers are very nice, flexible and they always understand  my needs.

 

What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

I think it’s important to know how to cope with the ever-changing needs of the translation industry. Translators must adapt to new requirements and trends and they always must stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry. Ongoing training, fexibility and ability to adapt are key factors to success.

 

What is your favourite book?

“Zeno’s conscience”, by Italian author Italo Svevo.

 

Grazie, Raffaele! It’s a pleasure to work with you! Hope you’ll enjoy your SeproTec hoodie :)

Do untranslatable words exist?

junio 20th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog - (Comentarios desactivados)

Although we may wish it weren’t true, translation is not an exact science. There are around six thousand different languages in the world. Just think of your own language… it only shares a linguistic group with a dozen others. So are there any difficult-to-translate, or even untranslatable words? Of course, there are. Untranslatable words do exist.

The reason is fairly obvious. Cultural groups have their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. We humans have different habits and daily routines, our own specific sense of humor and ways of living in society that differ around the world. That is why we invent the words we need to describe our circumstances and the events that occur in our everyday lives. Just think about how different life is in Japan and in Spain… Naturally, the languages created by these societies are totally different in both countries, because the people that live in each have devised words to describe the most important aspects of their lived experiences. It is interesting to compare the different cultural aspects of different languages. For example, Arabic is full of words and expressions that describe passion, while the German is brimming with references to food.

The work of the translator consists of finding efficient ways to define those difficult-to-translate concepts. This means that interpreting the meaning of words is very important to those of us who speak other languages.

The following is a list of some of interesting impossible-to-translate words.

Interpretations of untranslatable words

Tsundoku (Japanese). Buying a book but not reading it. Leaving it sitting there with the other books you haven’t read.

Sobremesa (Spanish).  The moments after a meal that Spanish people enjoy so much, spent relaxing and chatting.

Samar (Arabic). When the night flies because you’ve had such a good time with your friends.

Kummerspeck (German). Literally translated it means “sadness bacon”. It describes the extra pounds we pile on when we binge eat to forget our sorrows.

Saudade (Portuguese). One of the best known. Our Portuguese neighbors use this word to talk about that unquenchable desire you feel for someone or something that doesn’t exist, or something once loved but lost.

Kilig (Tagalog). The familiar feeling of having butterflies in your stomach.

Ohrwurm (German). Literally a ‘worm in the ear’, this word describes that maddening feeling of getting a tune stuck in your head.

Trepverter (Yiddish). The witty, clever retort you only think of when it’s too late. It literally means “staircase words”.

L´appel du vide (French). A longing to do something that will get your adrenaline pumping. The French use this expression when they need to jump from high places.

Jayus (Indonesian). A joke that is so bad that you just have to laugh.

Gheele (Tagalog). An irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze something adorable or plump, like a baby’s cheek.

Las palabras intraducibles en los diferentes idiomas del mundo

 

Fika (Swedish). A get-together to escape from the routine, with coffee and pastries.

Sgiomlaireachd (Gaelic). Annoying people who interrupt a meal between dishes.

Vergüenza ajena (Spanish). That cringing feeling you get when you see other people making fools of themselves.

There are just a few of many impossible-to-translate words and expressions.  If they have piqued your interest, we recommend you read Lost in Translation, an illustrated compendium of untranslatable words from around the world, by Ella Frances Sanders.  But before we go, we have to share one we love. At SeproTec we adore Ya’aburnee, which literally means “you bury me” in Arabic. It expresses a desire to die before another person does, because you just couldn’t bear them to go first.