Здорово! ser la leche! macizo! ヤバイ! knorke!
January 29, 2024 8:45 AM   Subscribe

untranslatable.co is a searchable database of slang from nearly 100 languages.
posted by gwint (17 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Nice! This is very much my thing (or, as I see just now that they say in Italian, this is in my ropes).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:06 AM on January 29

I f---ing love ヤバイ"YABAI!" (danger!)

You can say it when looking at your empty wallet / ATM balance slip, in amazement of something (yaBEH!), and as a general 'yikes!' (yabba-so!) etc. A+
posted by torokunai at 9:06 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]

Ooh, this is fun!

Several of the English translations of the German example sentences are breaking my brain a bit. The words are correct but they're in German structure, not English. It's very interesting to see my brain's reaction to having the intermediate stage it runs through when reading German spelled out on the screen.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:32 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]

Great site, thanks! Like I like to say, "not my bolus, not my gastric band." Or even better, "where we're going, we won't need directions." I'm sure you know what I mean.
posted by zaixfeep at 9:56 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]

darmok and jalad at tanagra

It seems we don't have any submissions matching your criteria. Yet.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:16 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]

oooh, useful! thanks for posting!
posted by humbug at 12:00 PM on January 29

shared with friends! one of my friends is such a go-getter, they're determined to be functional in French and Spanish and recently took up learning to write Arabic. They mentioned the type of Arabic they're learning, it's the 'standard' kind used in e.g. journalism etc? I am pretty sure they passed the 70 years threshold and going so strong, what an inspiration to everyone in their life. I know they'll love this resource.
posted by elkevelvet at 12:07 PM on January 29

I'm using Firefox on a Windows PC, and the site is barely useable. I've had to use "view source" to do things like browse by language or see the latest entries.

Anyway, once I figured that out, it was interesting to putter around. Though when I checked the Icelandic and Finnish entries, I found both to be oddly staid. There's not much there, to begin with, and they're decades-old slang, or not really slang at all.

I like the idea of the site, though, and I hope it'll take off because it has the potential to be an incredible resource.
posted by Kattullus at 12:29 PM on January 29

Kattullus, you can just type in the name of a language into the searchbar to get those entries. Works on Firefox. But yeah, I think there are some areas that don't seem to work, like clicking on the links in the stats page.
posted by gwint at 1:04 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]

Oh, you're right! Search worked fine both with Finnish and Icelandic.

I tried that with French, and the first two results were from Brazilian Portuguese and had no obvious connection to French, so I assumed the search function was busted or counterintuitive in some way I couldn't fathom. But scrolling further down gives me nothing but entries in French. So I'll just assume that I stumbled on some odd bug in my first search

I feel bad for having been down on unstranlateable.co in my first comment, because essentially the way this site could be everything it should be, is if people got excited about it and submit more entries. So my grumpiness, as is often the case, was doubly pointless.

Anyway, as penance I'll try to think of some really good Icelandic slang words in the next few days and submit them as entries.
posted by Kattullus at 1:17 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]

Anyway, once I figured that out, it was interesting to putter around. Though when I checked the Icelandic and Finnish entries, I found both to be oddly staid. There's not much there, to begin with, and they're decades-old slang, or not really slang at all.

Indeed, the Finnish entry "tietokone" is simply the official word for "computer".
(Here in English Canada, most Finns I've known just call it a "kompuutteri", but that's more in the realm of Finglish than slang as such.)
posted by Crane Shot at 3:46 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]

oh yeah Japanese yabai basically just means "oh man"

it's a very useful term to have in both languages
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:06 PM on January 29

My favorite slang I use every day from a language I don't really speak is よし. Which I use when I point-and-call my coffee machine in the morning after an unfortunate cupless button-push a while back. A friend asked me what it meant and I told them it was Japanese for, "Ya man."
posted by ob1quixote at 7:29 PM on January 30

honestly yoshi isn't even really slang, so much as just a common expression! For point-and-call it's akin to saying "check" in English, though there's a bunch of other ways you could use it too, akin to how English people might start an utterance with "Right,"
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:35 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Cf azi? Oh, just adding this post to the sidebar and Best Of blog!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:01 AM on January 31

This is a fun site. I had a good laugh at one of the Canadian English words - flow, referring to a hair style. In my day we called it, in English, Hockey Hair or in French the Longueil (which to be fair is more like a mullet than hockey hair).
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:19 AM on February 1

It's funny, because in an ancient dictionary I once found the word "Darb" described as a dull-witted fellow in Canadian slang, which totally does not match anything I see on the internets now.
posted by ovvl at 12:53 PM on February 2

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