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.silviap said:Interesting! Though I thought I was going to vote!
Tabac said: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".
FundefinedThrough the Welsh cellar door into the Finnish wine-cellar
One thing was important to Tolkien. Languages should be beautiful. Their sound should be pleasing. Tolkien tasted languages, and his taste was finely tuned. Latin, Spanish and Gothic were pleasing. Greek was great. Italian was wonderful. But French, often hailed as a beautiful language, gave him little pleasure.
But heaven itself was called Welsh. In his essay "English and Welsh", Tolkien recalls how he once saw the words Adeiladwyd 1887 (It was built 1887) cut on a stone-slab. It was a revelation of beauty. "It pierced my linguistic heart," he recalls. It turned out that Welsh was full of such wonderful words. Tolkien found it difficult to communicate to others what really was so great about them, but in his essay he makes an honest attempt: "Most English-speaking people...will admit that cellar door is 'beautiful', especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful. Well then, in Welsh for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant." He then lists concrete examples like Welsh wybren being "more pleasing" than English sky. -MC p. 190-193.
But there were more pleasures in store for young Tolkien. One day he found...a Finnish grammar!!! He soon found himself in phonaesthetic ecstasy. "It was like discovering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before. It quite intoxicated me" (Letters:214). High on Finnish he scrapped his latest project ("make your own Germanic language"), for now he had found more powerful inspirations. -- Source
Sharon said: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!
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." )
For Be and the rest of the foreros!!!belen said:My favorite words:
although my number one word is USHUAIA, not really Spanish, but from the Patagonia native indians.
Graziella said: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
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.Sybil said: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?
If I may add another, from The Kinks (1967)ewhite said: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.