English language lacks specificity to emotions, compared to other cultures

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Ever have a certain feeling, but you can’t find the words to describe it? Many cultures have words for very specific emotional experiences that don’t have a direct English language equivalent

A well-known example is ALOHA. Hawaiian for “Hello and goodbye, with love and compassion, literally the 'breath of presence'.”

But there are so many more that Dr. Tim Lomas of the University of East London has gathered in his Positive Lexicography Project. They’re so specific that if you haven’t experienced them, chances are you’ll want to. 

Words like:

Kilig (Tagalog, n): “the feeling of butterflies arising from interacting with someone one loves or finds attractive.”

Koi no yokan (Japanese, n) “The feeling on meeting someone that falling in love will be inevitable.”

Ishq (Arabic, n): “True, all-consuming love.”

Naz (Urdu, n): “Assurance/pride in knowing that the other’s love is unconditional and unshakable.

Cafuné (Portuguese, n): “The act/gesture of tenderly running one’s fingers through a loved one’s hair.”

We recognize a lot of our emotions because we can put them into words.By learning these new words, we may learn something new about ourselves and our experiences in the process.  

The project encourages people to visit and submit new words. Together, we can share our human experience and cultures to share as many of the wonderful moments life has to offer. Watch the video to learn the words you’ve been feeling when in love.

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