non english vote for most beautiful words

Discussion in 'English Only' started by fetchezlavache, Nov 28, 2004.

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  1. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
  2. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Interesting! Though I thought I was going to vote!
  3. quehuong Senior Member

    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    A nice list of words.:) I might go there and add a suggestion or two.:)
  4. Tabac Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest (USA)
    U. S. - English
    We don't have to vote: we could just start a list of words from languages other than our own that we find partlicularly pleasing to the ear.

    I have a friend in Columbia who just recently started to study English, and her favorite so far is, believe it or not, "cellar door".

    When I first started studying French, I loved the sound of "haricots verts". I still do.

    This could develop.
  5. jacinta Senior Member

    USA English
    My favorite word in Spanish is i griega. Don't ask me why, I just like the way it rolls out of my mouth!
  6. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    I can tell you the English words I can't stand! Like "development", 4 vowels and you never know where to put the accent! :D

    Well, I like "baby" ;) :D
  7. Jonegy Senior Member

    UK - English
    Just love the 'ei' sound in portuguese words like 'janela'
  8. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
  9. matt 204 New Member

    UK English
    I live in Germany. My favorite word is "lohnerhöhung" it means pay rise ;) .

    Seriously, my favorite word is "Schadenfroh" simply because there is no singular word in the english language that translates to this. It means to be happy about someone else's misfortune!
  10. Doina Junior Member

    Romania - Romanian
    My favourite English word is cuppycake, I just love how cute it sounds, it brings back childhood.

    As for Romanian, and words which can't be translated into other languages, doina (a traditional Romanian folk love song) and dor (the burning feeling of missing someone) are top.

    Maybe we could start a new thread with words which can't be translated into other languages???
  11. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    I think my favorite word in English is "defenestrate." Such a word for the simple act of throwing someone (or something) out of a window!!

    Another favorite of mine is "grommet." I don't know why I like this one so much, I think because it doesn't sound like a word meaning "a small metal or plastic ring used to reinforce an eyelet." To my ear, it sounds like something a frog would say! :p :D

    In Spanish, I like "De repente,"...maybe because it is usually said with more feeling than our "Suddenly," but it just translates in my head as "Listen closely, this where it gets exciting!!" My other favorite in Spanish, and I know it is not a "happy" word, but I like "desafortunadamente." Somehow it seems, I don't know...(prettier? more poetic?)...just not the same as "unfortunately."

    Matt, I think the closest word we have is: Gloat - to feel or express great, often malicious joy or self-satisfaction. (Gloating also holds a sense of pride or bragging. You can gloat privately or quietly, but often it is used to "rub it in someone's face." :eek: )

  12. Sybil Senior Member

    Speaking of words we love, my old-time favorites are two Dutch expressions: "graag gedaan" (you're welcome) and "alsjeblieft" (please). Sorry, they beat every English word I know. Don't ask why... :)
  13. mia04 Senior Member

    My favourite word in spanish is 'alma'. I just like the way it sounds! :D :D
  14. Artrella Banned


    Shar, don't forget CIGA RR O!!! ss ss ss
    :thumbsup: :D :D

    I like this question in French "qu'est-ce que vous cherchez?". I like the pronunciation!!!

    Au revoir!!
  15. mono Junior Member

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    United States / English
    I like many words, as vague as that sounds. A few that come to mind: ambidexterous, daunt, omnipotent, lagubrious, reverence.
    Also, being a science geek, I love many anatomical and physiological terms, such as: zona fasciculata, juxtaglomerular apparatus, corpora quadrigemina, arbor vitae, prima fasciae latae, acetabulum, corona radiata, infundibulum, auricle, jejunum, fovea centralis, fovea capitis.
    Sorry, I got carried away.
  16. Sybil Senior Member


    Hate to break it to you, but all those anatomical terms sound to me more like Latin than English ;) (or am I wrong? could be...) All I'm trying to say is that perhaps Latin is your thing and you don't even know it... What do you think? :)
  17. Graziella Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina - Spanish
    What a coincidence Tabac, this is are favourite words in French too.
    Best wishes. Take care :)
  18. Learning Senior Member

    Hola! It would be difficult for me to choose a word in Spanish I like most, but if I had to, I would choose PARAFERNALIA (It's not the best to me, but I can't think of more words I like), IDIOSINCRASIA (I like how it sounds) ... In English, I like the word AWKWARD (I really like how it sounds). When I get more words, I will tell you.
    Corregídme! :)
  19. Learning Senior Member

    I also like Fulfil and FULFILLMENT!
  20. belén

    belén Ex-Moderator

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    My favorite words:

    In Spanish: ALCACHOFA and ENCARECIDAMENTE, although my number one word is USHUAIA, not really Spanish, but from the Patagonia native indians.
    In English: BIB; TACK; FEW, I love how the monosyllabics sound in English!
    In German: "ÜBERHAUBT NICHT" - "absolutely not" it sounds so powerful!
    In Portuguese: ALEM (beyond) is my favorite one, although EVERYTHING sounds beautiful in Portuguese!!
    In Catalan: Senalla (basket); i guess i like it because it reminds me of Ushuaia!!
  21. Artrella Banned

    For Be and the rest of the foreros!!!

    USHUAIA es la capital argentina que tiene un nombre definitivamente indigena, con raíces más lejanas. Pero estamos seguros que la terminación aia significa bahía.

    Era muy común lapataia, yendegai, etc. es interesante pensar que, en la mente indígena, habitad era el agua y no la tierra. Al margen de lo que diga el diccionario, nosotros concebimos a una bahía como una fracción terrestre en la que el agua, para ellos era la que penetraba en la tierra, dentro de una bahía grande, como en ese caso, podían haber otras maneras menores, como alakuswaia, pero el nombre se refería a toda la superficie marítima que es cerrado por la península de La Misión.

    En tanto el primer componente ushu, Ha sido interpretado de muchas maneras bahía hermosa, bahía tranquila, bahía profunda, en lo que quizá había mas espíritu poetico que etimológico. Hoy se acepta la interpretación de Lucas Bridges, por su obvio conocimiento de la materia, que incluyendo la idea de profundidad agrega la de que esta se produce hacia el Oeste, de ese modo Ushuaia significaría bahía que penetra hacia el Oeste.


    Then the first white men arrived to this area, they found out that the natives referred to this beautiful bay well protected against the winds and surrounded by mountains as "Ooshooia" or "Ouchouaya". The first persons who got in touch with the natives were English speaking sailors and missionaries; therefore the right pronunciation was "Ushuuaia".
    Finally the name become "Ushuaia" both for the bay and for the town that started growing around it, until it become the southernmost city in the world.
    What is the meaning of this word for the Yamana natives? It simply meant "bay penetrating Westwards" or "bay towards the end " . This description turned out very accurate.

    Art :) ;) :p

  22. belén

    belén Ex-Moderator

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Hi Art
    Thanks for the information.
    I am very very fond of Ushuaia, since I discovered it. I even travelled there because I loved the name so much...and it was one of the best trips of my life.
  23. Graziella Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina - Spanish
    Dear Art,
    As usual enlightening us! I take a bow (as usual too)
    Hereby, I state officially that you are Cultural Ambassador of Argentina.
    A real pleasure to have you here. Your knowledge is endless.
    Warm wishes, and all the very best. Beso
  24. Artrella Banned


    :eek: Graziella!!! You are so nice !!! I really enjoy being here with people so intelligent and nice as you!!!
    Besos...Art :p :) ;)
  25. mono Junior Member

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    United States / English
    Oops! I stand corrected. I must not have thought of that painstakingly important fact (*laughs). I love the words all the more, despite being in Latin and Greek. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Sybil.
  26. Sybil Senior Member


    Oh... thanks for being so nice about it.
    My favorite words don't even sound remotely English (but one may still argue that they belong to the Germanic language group), and I'm referring to "please" and "you're welcome" in Dutch.
    Yours at least have been incorporated into English medical jargon...
    So... I guess I should just keep my mouth shut. ;)
  27. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    I love "pozzanghera" (Italian for puddle). Just tickles my ear... :)
  28. Sybil Senior Member

    Sorry, wasn't able to shut up just yet since we're into Italian words now, and I have to confess that "vuoi assaggiarlo" simply sends shivers down my spine...
  29. Thomas Keyes Senior Member

    Southeast Asia
    USA, English
    My favorite word is 'valanidiá', which is Greek for 'oak trees', but I also like 'karkadaan'. which is Arabic for 'rhinoceros'.
  30. Bobzinha

    Bobzinha Senior Member

    Hi everybody,

    In italian , I like "cuore". In French "mon jolie",in arab "habibi" and in engllish "intertwined"....
  31. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)

    ...which they told me was "mosquitoes" in Hungarian:)
  32. daviesri Senior Member

    Houston, TX
    USA English
    Murciélago. Not sure why and I tend to roll the 'r' a little to long but I loved it as a kid and still think its fun to say.

    I must say, I wish I could hear how some of these words are pronounced by someone who speaks the language. I took french in grade school but do not remember the first thing about the pronunciation.:(
  33. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    A foreigner (I don't remember his nationality) said that the most beautiful sounding words in Finnish and possibly in any language is "aja hiljaa sillalla". It's pronounced something like ahya hillyaah sillalla. It means simply "drive slowly on the bridge".
  34. Sean Brian Kirby Junior Member

    Drujba-1, Sofia, Bulgaria
    English, United States
    On that list, I think my favorite is, "fuselage." It is a lovely word and, go figure, I'm an airplane freak.

    I seem to be among the few English-speakers I know who finds German to be a lovely and frankly poetic tongue.

    And let's face it - English is beautiful! :) Though I was not quite aware of this until I asked a non-native-speaker, a good Bulgarian friend in America. He said he regarded it as one of the most beautiful-sounding languages in the world.
  35. sucigdem Senior Member

    It is either strange or pity that the word "peace" is 11th in the list.

    Not only it sounds nice and soft, but also it makes sense nowadays in the world.

    The first ten are of course nice, but I would like to see "peace" at least in the first five.

  36. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    The open-voweled Obadiah falls well on the ear.
  37. A word I like is 'tintinnabulation'. It has a lovely ring to it.

  38. ewhite

    ewhite Senior Member

    Not word, but a phrase, two lines from Paul Simon's song "That Was Your Mother"

    Standing in the shadow of Clifton Chenier
    Dancing the night away.

    It just rolls trippingly off the tongue.
  39. If I may add another, from The Kinks (1967)

    As long as they gaze on Waterloo sunset,
    They are in paradise.

  40. ewhite

    ewhite Senior Member

    Ah, Terry and Julie....

    How much of the appeal of both snippets is the beauty of the sounds, and how much is the wonderful convergence of sound and meaning?

    Sunset is one of my favorite words.
  41. bleuboia Senior Member

    English(New Jersey/New York regional)
    I think "Voce^ fala" is a beautiful phrase in portuguese, farfalla in italian, "und Sie auch" in german, pazhaluista in russian, and syk in norwegian

    Please correct my mistakes! Thanks.
    Korrigiert mich bitte! Danke.
    Corrigez-moi, s'il vous plaît! Merci.
    ¡Por favor, corrijan mis errores! Gracias.
    .فضلاً صحح اخطائي! شكراً
    Errores meos corrigete, quaeso! Benigne.
    私の間違いを直して下さい。 ありがとう。
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