Male tourist in Venice

One of the best souvenirs we can take back from a holiday overseas is the language. Not only does knowing how words and phrases are used teach us about the culture, it helps us shape our ideas of communication. Thanks to language learning app Babbel, we’ve learned 9 words from other languages to use when English isn’t enough and when to use them:  

1. For the people who sit at a table far longer than they should, refer to the French term seigneur-terraces (p: sen-yeur te-razs). In a sentence: “We have to go to another bistro because this is full of seigneur-terraces.”

Busy Parisian bistro

2. For the person who always wants to be included in the photo, refer to the Swedish term linslus (p: lin-sloose). In a sentence: “She wouldn’t let me take a picture of the landscape - she was such a linslus.”

3. For the feeling that you’re longing for something or yearning for a part of you that’s missing, refer to the Russian term toska (p: tuska). In a sentence: “I felt toska before I realised I hadn’t travelled overseas in three years! I booked flights immediately.”

4. For the little joke that someone plays when you need some light relief, refer to the Indonesian term mencolek (p: Mnn-dull-ay). In a sentence: “I fall for his mencoleks every time and I still laugh!”

5. For the times that are over-the-top lavish, refer to the Swedish term vaska (p: vass-ka). This term has a great origin story: it was coined by the well-to-do of Stockholm who had so much money that they bought two bottles of Champagne so the server could pour one down the sink. In a sentence: “This trip is all about excess - we are going to be so vaska!”

Champagne in snow in NZ

6. For the moment when we think of a perfect comeback for a conversation or argument that’s already passed, refer to the German term treppenwitz (p: trep-en-vitz). In a sentence, “As I boarded the plane, I thought a treppenwitz for the argument with my ex about why I shouldn’t travel.”

7. For the person who asks too many questions, refer to the Russian term pochemuchka (p: push-a-mooch-ka). In a sentence: “Stop being a pochemuchka and just listen to the tour guide.”

8. For the feeling of falling in love, rather than the act of being in love, refer to the Norwegian term forelsket (p: for-elle-skit). In a sentence: “The moment I saw the landscape was when I felt forelsket for the country.”

View of Amalfi Coast 

9. For the heartwarming story that makes you cry, refer to the term commuovere (p: c’more-ver-eh). In a sentence: “The story of how they met is commouvere - they sat next to each other on the way to Italy and have been together ever since.” 

And if you’re heading abroad, download Babbel through the iTunes store or Google Play store to learn the language - you’ll speak like a local in no time!