Thursday, September 3, 2015

Word of the day: Waldeinsamkeit

Ella Frances Sanders, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2014). Click for larger woods.

I wanted to post something from this book (thank you, Elaine), and this word seems to go well with today’s post about man-going-off-to-wooded-island. You can find ten more Sanders-illustrated words here.

Lost in Translation is a charming and imagination-provoking book, though its scholarship is sometimes amiss: at least one of its words has been called non-existent. Waldeinsamkeit is, of course, real. Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a poem about it. But if I hadn’t looked up the word elsewhere, I wouldn’t have known to capitalize it. (Sanders draws all words in all caps.) Lower-case lettering would be helpful, as would a pronunciation guide.

A related post
積ん読 [tsundoku]

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