+ Create a video based on one of these words. Make sure you either title your video using the word, include it in the description, or use it in the video!
+ Keep it under 3 minutes.
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from theVimeo Music Store!

Though we can read and understand the definitions of words, real or fictional, it’s often better to experience the word in some way. In the spirit of the meaning behind words, we’re challenging you to explore these untranslatable words with video as your medium, illustrating their approximate definitions, the moods they reveal, or the memories they surface.


So go ahead; pick a word from this list:

Duende — (Spanish) The heightened state of emotion after a particularly expressive artistic performance gives you chills, makes you smile, or causes you to cry.

Hyggelig — (Danish) This means something that has to do with cakes and sweets, cozy comfort with family at home, and candlelit darkness under blankets. Who cares if it’s hard to describe, it sounds amazing!

Jayus — (Indonesian) A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh. We all have that friend.

L’esprit de l’escalier — (French) The predicament of thinking of all the things you should have said just after you’ve left the conversation.

Mamihlapinatapei — (Yagan) The wordless, understanding look shared by two people, each hoping the other will start something they both desire but are unwilling to suggest. Oof.

Mokita — (New Guinean) The truth everyone knows but nobody talks about.

Schadenfreude — (German) Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others, which I’m sure you’ve all experienced while watching fail videos.

hyggelig from Issimo on Vimeo.
Untranslatable from courtesy productions on Vimeo.

Student Experiments in Multimedia Storytelling CONTACT: abearson@sanjuan.edu