Today I want to introduce you to a couple of great words–Wabi-Sabi and Mangata. Good words to add into our vocabulary. They come from a book that has been added to my wish list. The book “Lost in Translation” was reviewed by the BBC News
The Article starts with the word Mangata.
In the introduction to her book Lost in Translation, Ella Frances Sanders writes: “There may be some small essential gaps in your mother tongue, but never fear: you can look to other languages to define what you’re feeling”. The British designer has illustrated 50 words that have specific meanings in cultures around the world, including Mangata, Swedish for ‘the road-like reflection of the moon in the water’. (All images reprinted with permission from Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC)
I’ve seen that effect many times but never even thought there would be a word describing the scene.
Another favorite word in the article is Wabi-Sabi, which is defined as:
“The Japanese expression Wabi-sabi means “finding beauty in the imperfections, an acceptance of the cycle of life and death”; according to Sanders it is derived from Buddhism, which teaches that understanding “our transience and the asymmetry within our lives can lead us to a more fulfilling yet modest existence”.”
I like the idea of finding beauty in our imperfections. And the idea of accepting a cycle of life and death. Bob says it means “suck it up and shut up”.
This book of words reminds me of a book (now long gone from my library alas) about animal sounds from around the world. I think it was the book “Who says the Dog Goes Bow Wow”. There I learned that turkey can sound like “gobble gobble” or “bobalu, bobalu” depending on where you grew up.
But one interesting fact I learned years ago in grad school is that no matter where you grow up–If your mom called you by the full formal name, you were in big trouble.