Top global phrases we need in the English language
This winter, it was all about Hygge. The Danish word describes the cosiness one feels when, for example, you settle by a warm fire with good friends, good conversation and good wine.
The concept has been adored internationally but it’s not the only idea that can enrich our culture and the often-unique observations of other nations would do well to be brought into our own vernacular.
The Flexicover team has discovered five words that we hope will find an English equivalent, because they’re already on the tip of our tongue.
Hara hachi bun me (Japan)
The Japanese eat their meals with a certain principle in mind – that of moderation. The saying ‘hara hachi bun me’ translates to ‘belly 80 per cent full’. So rather than stuff themselves silly, they stop when they’re at a solid 80 per cent, even if it means serving a smaller portion or leaving what’s on their plate. That might explain why the Japanese are in such good health; as the related proverb goes, ‘eight parts of a full stomach sustain the man; the other two sustain the doctor’.
A notion that’s familiar to all of us travel enthusiasts, ‘Fernweh’ is the feeling of homesickness one gets for a place they’ve yet to visit. It’s very similar to wanderlust, but while wanderlust relates to a lusty desire for certain climes, ‘Fernweh’ is that uncomfortable feeling for a need to be somewhere, most likely one’s spiritual home. With sources of travel inspiration at an all-time high and Instagram giving us a constant visual of incredible places on the map, it’s no wonder there’s a growing need for this to enter our language.
Café culture is rife in France, where that very word originated. But with the pursuit comes a whole lexicon of its own. While many are international – we all know what Americano, espresso and café au lait means – some haven’t made it across quite so popularly. Our favourite word yet to be introduced is ‘seigneur-terraces’ - the direct translation of which is ‘lord of the terraces’. It’s used to describe those who lounge about a coffee shop for a long time, but don’t spend the appropriate amount – the bane of café owners the world over.
There’s a special kind of annoyance when you’re left waiting to meet someone. It’s mostly frustration, but it can also make you feel a tiny bit anxious and if you’re in a public place, like a restaurant for example, there might also be a smidgen of embarrassment. Welcome to ‘iktsuarpokx’, the Inuit’s description of that feeling. With the invention of the mobile phone, you’d think this was less of a problem. But now that we’re more time-poor, it’s actually even more exasperating.
The words that are specific to a language often provide a valuable insight into that culture’s passions and priorities. As such, we love that the Spanish are sociable enough to have a whole word dedicated to the gap between when a meal finishes, but the portion of the day is still the same. Most often, the ‘sobremesa’ will involve lingering at the table to finish off the wine or continue the conversation. But at lunch, it could also mean the continued downtime before returning to work, whether that’s socialising, watching TV or enjoying a little siesta. We’ll have that concept, please!
Wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of cover to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.