Tongue and Tech: The Many Emotions for Which English Has No Words

See on Scoop.itM-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications

Among them is the German backpfeifengesicht, “a face badly in need of a fist”

Danielle M. Villegas‘s insight:

With single-sourcing and translation services in higher demand than ever before, this makes a very good point. Translation software can still be "flawed" because of nuances as described here. This is why human intervention and truly careful technical writing needs to be done to provide consistency. Technical writers can be more aware of trying to use more consistent, neutral language to avoid misinterpretations in English, let alone any other language. 


I’ve experienced this myself in my personal life. My husband’s first language is Spanish, so sometimes he’ll use a Spanish word to describe something, and it doesn’t have an English equivalent. My favorite is "tofito", which the closest word we could come up with was "funky" or "rancid" as in cooked chicken or pork that have more of that bad chicken or bad pork taste. If we don’t like the taste because it taste too "chicken-y", then we say it’s "tofito". (Hopefully I spelled the Spanish word right–I think I did.)


Great article. 


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About TechCommGeekMom

Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who has recently started her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, and BASF North America, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog.
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