Words: Hiraeth / Saudade / Dor

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Hiraeth /hɪəraɪ̯θ/ is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for… the past.

 

Hiraeth bears considerable similarities with the Portuguese concept of saudade (a key theme in Fado music), Galician morriña and Romanian dor.

Saudade (European Portuguese: [sɐwˈðaðɨ], Brazilian Portuguese: [sawˈdadi] or [sawˈdadʒi], Galician: [sawˈðaðe]; plural saudades) is a Portuguese and Galician word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or deeply melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.

Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.

In Portuguese, “Tenho saudades tuas” (European Portuguese) or “Tenho saudades de você” (Brazilian Portuguese), translates as “I have saudade of you” meaning “I miss you”, but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have saudade of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.

Dor:  In the Romanian language, the word dor bears a close meaning to saudade. It can also stand for “love” or “desire”, having a derivation in the noun dorinţă and the verb dori, both of them being translated usually by “wish” and “to wish”.

(via Wikipedia.org)

 

 

2 thoughts on “Words: Hiraeth / Saudade / Dor

  1. Thanks Steven… Modern English (common parlance) can be horribly limited, no? One must go in search of the dust-covered words and scour other languages. My pleasure to name the thing that had no name… there is a term for this, but it evades me…!

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