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Useful Words in Eastern Languages English Doesn't Quite Have

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List RulesVote up the coolest words from Eastern languages you wish had a satisfactory equivalent in English.

Whether you're a polyglot or not, it's no secret that knowing about other languages gives you an edge. Language opens doors to whole other cultures and ways of thinking. Take a look at these Eastern language words English doesn't have and discover whole new ways of thinking about stuff. These cool words from Eastern languages run the full range of weird to beautiful to spiritual to kind of disturbing.

There are so many cool Eastern words that aren't in English, and this list barely scratches the surface. It's no secret that the Eastern world is vastly different from the West. The cultures, what they value, and all the changes they are experiencing are all expressed through the uniqueness of the languages in that part of the world. 

These Eastern words with no English equivalents will make you laugh, surprise you, make you scratch your head, and sometimes even make you a little jealous that English doesn't have a word for that. Keep reading to get your word nerd on and vote up the best words.
  • 1

    KY (空気読めない)

    This Japanese phrase, often shortened to "KY" in conversation, refers to a person who cannot read situations or other people at all. These people often interrupt conversations,  change topics arbitrarily, and get involved in things that have nothing to do with them without having any idea what they're doing.
    Agree or disagree?
  • 2


    Mokita is derived from a language called Kilivila spoken in Papua New Guinea. Its closest English translation is "the truth we all know but agree not to talk about." While there is no direct translation in English, the phrase "the elephant in the room" gets a similar idea across. Whether it's to save someone's pride or to avoid conflict, we all have experienced this first hand. 
    Agree or disagree?
  • 3


    If Morticia and Gomez Addams are your relationship goals, then this Tibetan endearment is perfect for you and bae. It translates directly to "most honored poison of my heart" and is one of the most romantic pet names in Tibet. You would be hard pressed to find a pet name this goth in any language, and there's definitely not a common one in English. 
    Agree or disagree?
  • 4

    Komorebi (木漏れ日)

    Japanese has a number of words with no directly translatable English equivalent. Komorebi is a noun which refers to the way sunlight looks as it gets filtered through trees and leaves. This one word covers about a quarter of all of the pictures on Instagram. Everyone has appreciated this phenomenon, but Japan has a word for it. Neat. 
    Agree or disagree?