Słowa na szczęście i inne nienazwane stany duszy

by: Grażyna Plebanek

Jan 05, 2022

This book was the first one I read in 2022. It’s quite short and the form in which the book has been written is very accessible. I found that it could be a light and enjoyable start to a new reading year.

I wasn’t wrong. The reading went very quickly. The book is basically a collection of phrases and words from different languages of the world. These words are difficult or impossible to direct translation. The meaning of these words is so ambiguous and vague that they can be only explained and described. It gave me another perspective on the diversity of cultures in the world and how different peoples perceive certain phenomena and situations.

Some of these words are worth mentioning:

  • age-otori (Japanese)* - have you ever had the feeling that after a visit to the hairdresser’s you felt worse and less comfortable with yourself? This word describes just such a state.
  • boketto (Japanese) - when we stare absently ahead and feel that no information or stimulus is affecting us - that’s boketto.
  • koyaanisqatsi (Hopi) - we all should adopt this word. It simultaneously means chaos, imbalance, disintegration, turmoil, and heading for disaster. The word is a good commentary on the current condition and direction of our planet.