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Check out these unique international words of luuurv

 

Zhi_zi_zhi_shou_Yu_zi_xie_laoA friend of mine declared the other year that she and her partner intended to start a row the night before Valentine’s Day and make sure it continued until the 15th as a mark of protest against enforced lovey-doveyness.

Nauseating, commercial and a torture for singletons the whole Valentine’s hype certainly can be. But I must admit that while the sight of teddy bear proffering a heart in a shop window makes me want to heave I was rather taken by these cartoons I came across that are part of a diamond company’s marketing campaign. The artist, Emma Block, has illustrated Untranslatable Expressions of the Love from around the world. Of course they are translatable – they’re translated in the cartoons – but what she means is we have no direct equivalent.

It turns out the Portuguese, for instance, have some very specific terms for canoodling, which we lack.

 

Cafune

 

Cheiro_no_cangote-2

 

Then there is this specific flirt term in an indigenous South American tongue.

 

Mamihlapinatopei

 

There are also some lovely generalised expressions of happiness that could apply to anyone. Must remember Hanyauku for next time I’m on a beach.

Firgun

 

Hanyauku

 

Merak

And if you’re feeling particularly cynical this year then smirk with recognition at these two:

 

Oodal

 

Onsra

I’ve spared you some of the soppier ones but you can see the whole lot here and even send them as e-postcards: vashi.com

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