Welcome back to the STUDIOTRE blog. We hope that you’ll find today’s post as fascinating as the place – and the words – that we’d like to talk about: Japan.
Ōe Kenzaburō, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, used the word “Aimaina” to describe his home country. It means with a hazy outline that is not clear cut and leaves room for interpretation. Japanese language and culture are closely correlated.
Words are a means of conveying the complex, rich thoughts of the person using them, but interpretation is everything.
The enchanting thing about the Japanese language is that you have to pick up on things that are left unsaid and read between the lines in order to grasp the real message. Consequently, you need vast experience and broad knowledge even just to have a simple conversation.
Some words encapsulate entire experiences. They are words with no translations. Words that only exist in Japan.
Let’s take a look at a few:
- Komorebi: the distinctive effect of sunlight streaming through slender, light foliage in trees.
- Shibumi: unobtrusive beauty. It refers to the great refinement concealed behind an ordinary, everyday appearance.
- Aware: the bittersweet feeling of experiencing something wonderful that you know is transient and destined to end soon.
- Wabi-Sabi: calmly accepting the natural cycle of life and death, in the knowledge that everything is transient.
- Hanami: an ancient Japanese tradition of enjoying the beautiful flowers on trees, especially cherry blossom.
STUDIOTRE fully appreciates the importance of words and their meanings. It has always preferred to work with mother-tongue translators because… words matter!
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