In Other Words
A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World
By Christopher Moore
(Walker & Company, Hardcover, 9780802714442, 128pp.)
Publication Date: October 2004
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When ideas fail, words come in handy. But sometimes you can’t find the right word, and what you want to say can’t be found in the dictionary. English has its limitations, but the expression you’re searching for may exist in another language. In Other Words is a unique collection of well-known and absolutely obscure “untranslatables”—linguistic gems that convey a feeling or notion with satisfying precision yet resist simple translation.
This quirky lexicon of hard-to-translate words gives the reader a new way to look at the world and how words relate to us. The words are arranged by region or country of origin, and a brief introduction to each section—each done by a respected translator—gives insight into the culture of the people as well as the language. Each of these singular words is cleverly and thoroughly defined, with interesting details and references throughout. The search for that elusive mot juste may be over.
Christopher J. Moore holds degrees in modern languages and linguistics. He is the author of several books, including a major anthology of Gaelic oral poetry. He lives in France and Spain.