“Tell me what is pure, child,” his voice gruff.
“I’ve already learned that word!” The boy replied. Sometimes the sun-browned wrinkled man forgot things.
“Good, good.” The man tried again, “What brings you happiness?”
The boy thought about this. “I like riding my bike!”
“Bike riding is a lot of fun!” the man agreed. “What do you like about it?”
“I like going places really fast.”
“Going no-hands when the wind makes it hard to see.”
The man waited.
“Jumping over ditches and whipping through mud puddles.”
“Pedalling as fast as I can until I can’t pedal anymore. Then coasting downhill or falling in the grass.”
“Boy, you know mepak,” the man said. “Remember this secret to a good life.”
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.
Mерак (Serbian, n.): pleasure derived from simple joys.
For more wonderfully untranslatable words, see:
- Untranslatable Words, by Tim Lomas, PhD.
- Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words, by Ella Frances Sanders