Anyone who has lived his or her life in more than one language, anyone who has been not only lost, but also stuck in translation, can relate to this!
Idiostatic: Adjective that describes a word or phrase that cannot be accurately translated into another language without losing its meaning, its subtlety, style and/or its effect.
An example in English:
"I look forward to," probably the most static of our idiostatic phrases.
An example in Spanish:
The word, pesado, or if you are in Spain, pesao.
It is a loaded word in Spanish, and becomes utterly defiant when one tries to wrestle it into English, porque es, bueno, es demasiao pesao.
If you can think of other idiostatic words or phrases, let's post them!
Text copyright Ysabel de la Rosa, 2008.