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Lost in translation. Word of the day: Meraki

Meraki: Love, passion and a lot of soul.
Meraki:
 Doing things with love, passion and a lot of soul.

Greek ranks as the richest language in the world; Europe’s oldest, with five million words

 and seventy million word types, existing for more than four thousand years.


Other ancient languages did exist before Greek, for example; Babylonian and Sumerian, 

but, Greek is the only ancient language, barring two Chinese dialects, that persisted, the 

only ancient language to remain alive today.


You can understand, then, why some Greek words are said to be untranslatable.

Meraki is one of those words, said to be untranslatable, but is it?

Sappho, on word
Sappho, on words
Meraki, a verb, or adverb, a Modern Greek word, derived from the Turkish “Merak” (Labor of

 love, to do something with pleasure), is applied to tasks, usually, creative or artistic tasks, 

but can be applied to any task at all.

It means to do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention.


Maria Callas
Maria Callas. Greek opera singer.
Put her whole soul into singing,.
She sang with passion, with meraki
No matter how difficult a task, it is done with all your effort, with enthusiasm, with eagerness,

 with complete love; it is done with all your heart, a labour of love, so to speak.


Washing with butterflies
This lady, is so devoted to her husband,
 it is a pleasure to wash his clothes.
Not a chore at all.
Meraki is to put your soul into something, to put a little bit of yourself into it, be it singing, 

dancing, or painting.

Tango
Tango
 Danced with passion, with every fibre of your body,
giving it your all!
It can be the simplest of tasks, such as making a cup of coffee for your husband; you made 

it with love, with devotion, with meraki!

Coffee Made with meraki
Coffee
Made with meraki
Here’s a good example of the use of meraki, I asked a friend of mine, a chef, if his wife was

also a good cook.

No, he answered, she’s a terrible cook, but, when she cooks me a meal, I tell her it was 

delicious, because, she cooked it for me with love, with all her heart, she cooked it for me 

with meraki.

A jar full of meraki
A jar full of meraki
Someone who loves life, lives it to the hilt, does everything with zeal, someone who lives for


 the moment, for the now, is often, here in Greece referred to as a “Meraklis”.


 Every single thing he does, day in, day out, is done with meraki.

Zorba The Greek
Zorba The Greek
Maybe the happiest meraklis ever!
According to the artist Vincent Van Gough, doing something with all your being, with


 passion, putting all your heart and soul into your work, may result in madness!


"I put my heart and and my soul into my work and have lost my mind in the process"


 "Old Man in Sorrow" (On the Threshold of Eternity) Vincent Van Gogh
"Old Man in Sorrow" (On the Threshold of Eternity)
Vincent Van Gogh
Do you think the Greek word meraki is untranslatable?

How about the English word ardour (American; Ardor)?


Ardour means to do something with great passion, with enthusiasm, with a strong feeling of 

energy and eagerness, to do something with love.


It sounds very similar to me.

If you'd like to find out, if untranslatable words really do exist, a good place to look, is in this

 fascinating book by Ella Frances Sanders;

An artistic collection of more than 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign 

words that have no direct translation into English. 

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World


"Lost in Translation" Ella Frances Sanders
"Lost in Translation"
Ella Frances Sanders

And while you're at it, why not check out Ella Frances Sanders, latest book;


A charming illustrated collection of more than fifty expressions from around the globe that 

explore the nuances of language. From the hilarious and romantic to the philosophical and 

literal, the idioms, proverbs, and adages i

 " The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World"

The Illustrated Book of Sayings Ella Frances Sanders
The Illustrated Book of Sayings
Ella Frances Sanders
Go and make someone happy!

Do something with meraki!

 More Glorious Greek Words


Eucharisto/Efharisto  
 Philotim Sophrosyne  Eudaimonia   Arcadia   Ichor  Daimon  Elysian
 Palikari   Kairos

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