We love choosing the right words, simply presented to encapsulate all of the sentiments you want to convey. English is a beautiful language, but sometimes we don't have the words to express specific moods or emotions.
The richness of the global tongue inspires us to think of things differently or clarify the thoughts or feelings we already have but don't have the words to describe them. It's why we're called Lagom, the Swedish word for things being in balance or just right. By examining the language of other cultures, we can learn a lot about their society, what's important to them but we can also learn a lot about ourselves too. Here are some of the most beautiful words we found.
Komorebi - Japanese
After a long winter or a bad day, there is nothing more quietly pleasing than the sight of sunlight filtering through the leaves of a tree. It's hopeful, tranquil and often makes you stop to pause and reflect. The Japanese language is one of the most sophisticated and poetic and this quiet and gentle word perfectly encapsulates the magic of this simple moment.
Gökotta - Swedish
The Nordic nations have given us some fantastic new words over the last few years, the cosy trend of Hygge inspiring everything from interior decor to dining. They certainly know how to live well, but they also have a respect for nature which is perfectly demonstrated by their use of the word Gökotta. The practice of getting up early simply to listen to the dawn chorus. Not only is this a beautiful word, but the fact that it exists reflects the active love of nature present in the Swedish culture.
Mångata - Swedish
We love the Swedish language, so it's no surprise that we found another beautiful word to enrich our day. Mångata describes the path of light created by the moon on the sea or a stretch of water. If this doesn't conjure a memory of a magical night, pick up a moon calendar and plan a nighttime stroll; you won't regret it.
Many of the oldest and most beautiful words are tinged with a hue of melancholy. These words reflect on the space where emotional pain meets beauty, precious and sacred words that unveil our deeply held emotions.
Mono no aware - Japanese
This word describes the acute awareness of the transient nature of all beautiful things. Used to describe the intense joy of a moment but the realisation that it cannot last.
Dustsceawung - Old English
Literally translated as 'consideration of the dust', this word explains that everything that once existed has turned to dust and that everything around us has the same fate. On a positive note, it may help us to transcend our earthly worries helping us to put things into perspective.
The closest we have in English is homesickness, but it does it doesn't come close to the complexity of this Welsh word. Hiraeth refers a time or place that you wish to return to but no longer exists or a sentimental place that never existed at all.
But not all beautiful words relate to the state of melancholy; some are mini philosophies in their own right.
This word is almost too big for its syllables. Originating from Taoism it is a celebration of humble things, and the joy found in transformation. Simply put, it is the acceptance of imperfection and how transformation always involves things ageing, breaking or coming apart. Trying to chase after perfection is a fools game leading to much unhappiness in the West. Wabi- Sabi is certainly a word we could add to our vocabulary.