10 Romantic Words That You Cannot Translate Into English Language

Love hits you when you least expect it to. You must have heard it a million times. Quite cliché it is, isn’t it? It feels like shooting in the dark, you never know when you might hit the right spot. But, isn’t love like this? It scares you senseless only to comfort later on. It gets you so insane only to put sanity back into you. Love is confusing. It’s complicated, yet it’s the best thing out there. A city without love is like ‘Hitler awake from dead’. A person without love is like ‘food without salt’ (No one’s is going to eat that shit!). And a heart without love in it, is simply a ‘blood-pumping machine fit into our bodies’.

At times, love is a refugee like a butterfly, one moment it stays the other moment it’s gone. Then, love is a narrow road, which can either lead you to heaven or lead you to new paths. Love is everything you achieve and in all those things you lose. There is no language for love, yet we have a long line-up of phrases that we practice in our head but seldom say.

Here’s a list of 10 romantic words without an English equivalent.

  1. Yuanfen (Chinese): A relationship by fate or destiny.

‘Yuan’ means fate and ‘fen’ translates to the division of two halves. Thus, Yuanfen is when fate brings two people together. There is an almighty power which pre-determines the meeting of two souls. ‘We were destined to meet’, ‘This was written in the stars’ or ‘This was meant to happen’- the phrases like these is what Yuanfen means. However, fate and destiny are two different words yet related to each other. Fate is when two people cross paths with each other and fall in love. Destiny is when two people end up with each other. And Yuanfen is the word which lies somewhere between fate & destiny.

  1. Mamihlapinatapei (Yagan, an indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego):

It is also included in the Guinness book of records as the ‘most succinct word’. The literal meaning of this word is “a look shared by two people, silently wishing that the other would initiate something that they both clearly desire but neither of them wants to begin”. It is that universal look across the table, when just the eyes are talking and bodies are in a frozen state. When the silence is infused with a sexual tension between the two that the words lose their shine.

  1. Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese): The act of tenderly running your fingers through someone’s hair.

This is such an intimate yet random thing, which every lover tends to indulge into.

  1. Retrouvailles (French): The happiness of meeting again after a long time.

Use this word when you see your lover after a long time, over a coffee or something. It is an amazing phrase for the ones who are into long distance relationships.

  1. Ilunga

It means “a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time”. It refers to ‘scale of tolerance’ one would go after, in the name of love. It is mainly used in failed marriages or acts of infidelity.

  1. Forelsket: (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you’re first falling in love.

A different word to express the best feeling in the whole wide world.

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  1. La Douleur Exquise (French): The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have.

This can be called ‘one-sided love’ or ‘un-requited love’.

  1. Ya’aburnee (Arabic): “You bury me.”

It’s a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person, because of how difficult it would be to live without them.

  1. Koi No Yokan (Japanese): The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall into love.

It is much different than ’Love at first sight’, as it signals towards the knowledge that the love in the future is inevitable.

  1. Saudade (Portuguese):

The feeling of longing for someone that you love and is lost. Another linguist describes it as a “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.”


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