The untranslatable foreign words all foodies need in their vocabulary

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Amy Swales
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A fondness for untranslatable foreign words abounds – one need look no further than the eagerness with which we as a nation embraced hygge and lagom.

Turns out we love a word for a concept that we’ve previously found difficult to express, describing everything from love, to various heart-warming situations, to those situations we all recognise but struggle to articulate, to simply buying too many books.

But there is nothing we love more than food and drink, so we are extremely pleased to present the untranslatable words from around the world relating to this very subject.

Untranslatable in the sense that there’s no direct equivalent in the English language, the words, compiled by travel agency Expedia , include such gems as kalsarikännit – a Finnish word loosely translated as ‘underwear drunkeness’ and meaning to drink at home alone in your underwear.

Sadly, we don’t get much chance for utepils in the UK (drinking outside in the sunshine), but we are rather fond of sobremesa (lingering at the table to talk after the food is over).

And then there’s the German kummerspeck, which, while a little Bridget Jones in its meaning (the weight gained through overeating after a failed romance), has the fabulous loose translation of ‘grief bacon’.

Browse more untranslatable food and drink words below, and look forward to cracking out your new vocab at the next social gathering (ideally, before the natmad).

Images: Expedia


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.