non english vote for most beautiful words

< Previous | Next >
Status
Not open for further replies.
  • Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    silviap said:
    Interesting! Though I thought I was going to vote!
    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.
     

    Silvia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    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
     

    Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    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".
    Through 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
    Fundefined
     

    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!
     

    Doina

    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???
     

    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: )

    Sharon.:)
     

    Sybil

    Senior Member
    US
    Poland/Polish
    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... :)
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    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! :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: )

    Sharon.:)

    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!!
     

    mono

    Member
    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.
     

    Sybil

    Senior Member
    US
    Poland/Polish
    mono,

    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? :)
     

    Learning

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    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! :)
    Saludos
     

    belén

    Senior Member
    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!!
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    belen said:
    My favorite words:

    although my number one word is USHUAIA, not really Spanish, but from the Patagonia native indians.
    Ushuaia!!
    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.


    THE ORIGINS OF NAME USHUAIA

    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


     

    belén

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    Graziella

    Senior Member
    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
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    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



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

    mono

    Member
    United States / English
    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? :)
    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

    Senior Member
    US
    Poland/Polish
    mono,

    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. ;)
     

    Sybil

    Senior Member
    US
    Poland/Polish
    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...
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    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.:(
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    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".
     

    Sean Brian Kirby

    Member
    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.
     

    sucigdem

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    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.

    Cigdem
     

    ewhite

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    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.
     

    ewhite

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    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.
     

    bleuboia

    Senior Member
    English
    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.
    請改正我錯處﹐謝謝﹗
    私の間違いを直して下さい。 ありがとう。
     
    Status
    Not open for further replies.
    < Previous | Next >
    Top