10 unstranslatable foreign words we need to start using in English immediately


There is a word in German called 'Vollpfostenantenne', which means 'dumb ass antenna'. This is how Germans refer to selfie sticks.

There is also a word called 'Fly sein', meaning 'to be fly.'

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It shows just how much modern life throws up new things to find aggravating, and how quickly language adapts.

Memrise, a language learning app, has curated a top 10 list of the words we need in English.

Prozvonit (Czech)

This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money.

Pagafantas (Spanish)

This literally means the guy/girl who buys other people drinks; the one who invites someone for a drink hoping to get lucky but in the end, nothing happens….

креакл (kreakl) (Russian)

A representative of the creative class ie combination of intelligentsia and hipsters in modern Russia

Smombie (German)

A smartphone zombie, someone who's always on their phone


Roughly translated as the educational history society, meaning that people are judged based on what university they went to, instead of experience, internship, personal qualities etc.

Sciallo/-a (Italian)

A command to be positive/calm/relax/don't stress


Literally the meaning is 'new class society'. It describes someone who has a prosperous background or is of a well-to-do family environment, often with the connotation that the person does not appreciate or deserve his or her advantage, its having been inherited rather than earned.

Jayus (Indonesian)

A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.

Hiraeth (Welsh)

It refers to a particular type of longing for the homeland or the romanticised past.

Gökotta (Swedish)

To wake up early in the morning with the specific purpose of going outside to hear the first birds sing.

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