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Forms of Expression

By Glory Eshareturi

Yesterday was world Emoji day! The day named for the date typically seen on an emoji calendar. Emojis are such a unique recent form of expression. They allow us to say what we need to say or convey feelings through text that we couldn’t before. They sure have evolved since the days of a colon and parenthesis forming a smiley face. Now we have thumbs up, surf’s up, smiling piles of poop, and people of every color and profession you can think of! It’s incredible how emojis can be used across many different cultures to express emotion.

This actually got me thinking about other forms of expression. If you think about it, emojis are almost a language of their own. Did you know there are words and phrases in some languages that we don’t have in English? Words that express very specific feelings and emotions, much like emojis! Here are a few of them found on this blog!

  1. Ti voglio bene (Italian)
    orTe quiero (Spanish)
    or Ich hab’ dich lieb(German) In many languages there is a word or phrase for the feelings you have for someone that are between like and love. These words use above show that you care for someone, but perhaps don’t love them in a romantic way. In English, we like someone, like-like them, love them or love-love them. All of which can be very confusing! 
  2. Flipperförälder(Swedish) This is a Swedish word that literally translates to “Pinball Parent” or a parent who lets their kids do whatever they want.
  3. Glas wen(Welsh) This is a Welsh word that literally translates to mean “blue smile” which would be a fake smile. Sort of like crocodile tears in English, but for a smile. I guess we could call it a crocodile smile?
  4. Mencolek(Indonesian) You know when you’re on someone’s right side and tap them on their left shoulder to trick them? There is a word for that in the Indonesian language! Who knew?
  5. Aktivansteher(German) This German word is meant for people who always pick the right line at the store. You know the one that moves super fast? Usually the line you moved out of to switch to a line that looked shorter, but somehow ends up taking more time.

Very interesting list indeed! Who knew there were so many different and specific ways to express the things that are part of our shared human experience!

Do you speak another language? What are some words or phrases in your language we’re missing out on in English? Let us know in the comments!

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