Beauty of the World: In this series I use an “untranslatable word” in a story. These wonderful words capture the beauty of languages around the world.
The wool blanket is scratchy against my skin. I don’t tell you this but smile as you lay it over the concrete steps. You bring out freshly brewed espresso for us and laugh when I break your cigarettes in half. I hide your ashtray under the blanket. Leaning back against your legs, you play with my hair.
“How was your day?”
“Okay. How was yours?”
Kids kick a ball and fight on the sidewalk. Neighbors yell until the man comes out — pacing, cursing — one hand on the back of his neck and the other wrapped around a beer. The dog wrestles an invisible force on the lawn. He’ll need another bath. Car alarms shriek, ignored, while sirens wail. Your arm drapes lazily across my shoulder.
When we would samar.
Samar ( سمر ) (Arabic, v.): to sit together in conversation at sunset or in the evening.
For more wonderfully untranslatable words, see: Untranslatable Words, by Tim Lomas, PhD.