20 Beautiful Untranslatable Words That Your Dog Knows!

Syllables stacked against syllables, what worlds words can construe! They say that the smartest of dogs can understand up to 300 words, but we dogs also know of feelings – the words for which we are yet to hear.

How do you, for instance, explain to someone Hachiko’s longing?

Sometimes the humans find right words in languages other than English. We dogs may not speak a human tongue but we know the meanings to some of these beautiful untranslatable words.

20 beautiful untranslatable words from languages other than English.

1. Ya’aburnee (Arabic) – Melancholic and melodic, this word means “You bury me,” a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person because of how difficult it would be to live without them.

Maybe that’s why dogs’ leave us this soon, a lifespan of merely a decade


2. Waldeinsamkeit (German) – The feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods, and an intimacy with nature. {“Wald” meaning forest, and “Einsamkeit” meaning loneliness or solitude.}

And who knows the call of the wild better than us dogs?

Waldeinsamkeit dog

3. Toska (Russian) – an ache of soul, longing with nothing to long for. A pain in the soul with no specific cause, and a powerful yearning for something / someone that can never be attained.

toska word

Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases, it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level, it grades into ennui, boredom.

There’ll be times when you’d go through this emptiness… all I want is for you to know that I’m just a hug away.

4. Forelsket (Norwegian) – The indescribable euphoria experienced as you begin to fall in love.

Forelsket meaning

With those misty eyes, in that philosophic gaze, perhaps this is what your dog feels like every time he sees you!

5. Fika (Swedish) –  Gathering together to talk and take a break from everyday routines; either at a cafe or at home, often for hours on end.

fika word

 6. Komorebi (Japanese) – The sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees.

Komorebi dog

 7. Luftmensch (Yiddish)  Refers to someone who is a bit of a dreamer; literally, an “air person.”

Beautiful Untranslatable Words

 8. Dapjeongneo (Korean)  When somebody has already decided the answer they want to hear after asking a question and are waiting for you to say that exact answer.


How do I look?

9. Abbiocco (Italian)  drowsiness from eating a big meal.


10. Mokita (Kivila)  The truth everyone knows but agrees not to talk about.


Of your life, love, loss, and everything mundane whenever you shall feel like talking, I will be there waiting for you…

11. Tartle (Scottish)  The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.

beautiful untranslatable word - tartle

12. Saudade (Portuguese) – refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost. It is a longing for a possibility, a love for something or someone that remains even if that something, or someone is already gone.


And who would understand this longing better than these dogs or Hachiko?

13. Jijivisha (Hindi) –  refers to the strong, eternal desire to live and to continue living. Someone who loves life and always has intense emotions and desires to live and thrive.


14. Kummerspeck (German) – Excess weight gained from emotional overeating.


Also See: Dog food – the good, the bad and the ugly

15. Litost (Czech) – a state of feeling miserable and humiliated created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.


16. Merak (Serbian) –  a feeling of bliss and the sense of oneness with the universe that comes from the simplest of pleasures. It is the pursuit of small, daily pleasures that all add up to a great sense of happiness and fulfillment.

merak meaning

Belly rubs! Yes, that’s merak!..

17. Iktsuarpok (Inuit) – “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

That feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet?


Yay! the bell rang! Who is it? The postman? The squirrel or you?

18. Hiraeth (Welsh) – Homesickness for a home to which you cannot return
is whenever you find home in the things that are long gone. It is seeing the people you value race past you, while you are still stuck in reverse.

Hiraeth meaning

Why did they abandon me? All those promises, the loving kindness ushered in my puppy days… where did it all go?

 19. Fernweh (German) – Feeling homesick for a place you have never been to.


 20. Boketto (Japanese) –To gaze vacantly into the distance without thinking.


Have you ever come across a word or phrase in a language that you felt could only be explained the best by a dog?

Feel free to share with us such beautiful untranslatable words!

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Published by

Abhishek Joshi

The man who was Peter Pan — aka 'Dog With Blog'. Raconteur, Reader, Backpacker... If I were an element, I'd be radioactive.

3 thoughts on “20 Beautiful Untranslatable Words That Your Dog Knows!”

  1. This is beautiful! Each word has such a deep meaning, and is completely relatable to people who own dogs also.

    If I ever have a dog, I hope I die before it. I don’t own one our of sheer fear of the pain when s/he leaves me. Ya’aburnee

  2. My lil Laggy knows many words. Some short phrases, as well. As for ‘treats’ he can’t have em. He is a rescue. I got him at 2.9 lbs @ 9 weeks. At our training session to get him to walk on a leash at the Humane Society, the trainer was giving him lil pieces of dog food. The trainer told me to but cheap dog food for treats n training him. I did this for over 3 years.

    Thanks for sharing this picture.


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