February 22, 2006


from Portuguese to English

It turned to be a cliché, but everybody says "saudade" is untranslatable.
Sometimes in English it turns to a verbal form - to miss (something or
someone). The problem is that to have saudade is to miss someone or
something that can be not lost at all. There is a word reputed to be a fair
translation in German - "sennsucht" - but it involves the meaning field of
search for something whereas "miss" may mean something that was lost. It is
the kind of melancholy you feel when you are far from a place or person you
like. But, eventually, you may come back to him/her/it.

Lucio Agra

John M. Bennett adds:

Ay, saudade - the important thing about that concept is that it can apply to something that is right in front of you - saudade for the loved one you hold in your arms, for example. saudade for the very day you are experiencing - tenho razao ou nao?

Dr. John M. Bennett
Rare Books & MSS Library
The Ohio State University
"No words are translatable. All words are transductible."

Posted by dwaber at 01:52 PM