mamihlapinatapei love



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  • Another good one is mamihlapinatapei, which, in the Fuengian language of Chile, means "a shared look of desire or longing between parties who are both interested, but neither is willing to make the first move."

    The Perfect Word


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  • Hmmmm, I'd say semantically dense.

    May 14, 2009

  • Quote, ajohnson1980:

    "how in the world could a word that is hardest to translate be succinct."

    You've got it backwards, mate. The fact that it's so succinct is WHY it's so hard to translate. It's a complex concept wrapped up in a single word. In English, it requires an entire sentence to basically explain. One word: succinct. Entire sentence: Not very succinct.

    May 14, 2009

  • Erroneously spelled with an "e" - many people list mamihlapinatapai. Sometimes not so succinct, but what do expect from a language with one native speaker.

    April 22, 2009

  • From the word's detailed analysis in Wikipedia, which you quoted, John, perhaps one might translate this as "shared perplexed hesitation", with the context providing the sense of its particular application to sexual or romantic overtures. The succinctness lies in the way a complex situation is expressed in a single word, especially in a word that is not a compound.

    November 20, 2008

  • It's succinct in its language.

    November 20, 2008

  • succinct means in the world could a word that is hardest to translate be succinct...

    November 20, 2008

  • “Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) is a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘most succinct word’, and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It describes ‘a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start.’

    The word consists of the reflexive/passive prefix ma- (mam- before a vowel), the root ihlapi (pronounced iɬapi), which means to be at a loss as what to do next, the stative suffix -n, an achievement suffix -ata, and the dual suffix -apai, which in composition with the reflexive mam- has a reciprocal sense.�?


    November 16, 2008

  • The look between two people in which each loves the other but is too afraid to make the first move.

    February 1, 2008