Monday, May 05, 2014

Holy Heteroclite's Hiraethean Homesickness ...with a bit of sehnsuch and duende

I love words/concepts for which other languages have no translation.....partly because all translation is betrayal  (a phrase which is itself translated)

Mike Peters taught me a new  
word the other night. 
In some of his delightful comments between songs, he introduced us to the concept of hiraeth:

Hiraeth /hɪəraɪ̯θ/ is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire[1] for the Wales of the past.[2]Hiraeth bears considerable similarities with the Portuguese concept of saudade (a key theme in Fado music), Galician morriña and Romanian dor.  link

From the Paris Review:

It’s pronounced “here-eyeth” (roll the “r”) and it’s a Welsh word. It has no exact cognate in English. The best we can do is “homesickness,” but that’s like the difference between hardwood and laminate. Homesickness is hiraeth-lite.   article

 Looking forward to overlapping this with  the other untranslatable words mentioned above,

and with

                                     C. S. Lewis' version of sehnsucht...

                                                                        even with  keening and  duende.

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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!