(One of) the best thing(s) about travelling is trying to muddle your way through the local language because, as much as you fear you might be disrespecting the country’s founders, every local loves a tryer. They consider it sweet and cute and, okay, maybe not courageous, but certainly plucky, and you’ve gotta respect a plucky traveller -- even if it’s just trying to correctly pronounce croissant instead of asking the waiter for some chocolate bread in your loudest, slowest voice.
Yup, learning a few foreign phrases on the flight over is a) a great way to bridge the gap between the cultural differences and language barriers and b) a great way to feel amazing -- and it’s about to feel even more amazing because we’ve found some foreign words that are as weird and magical as JKs boggarts.
There’s no other of putting it: when the constraints of the English language let you down, these foreign words and phrases won’t. They are genius, kind of like our idea of letting you personalise your towels.
OMG! We just had the most amazing idea (probably ever): you should get these words embroidered on the bottom left corner of your Dock & Bay towel and/or poncho… even if you’re just going on vacay to Kalsarikännit by the lake for a week, why not make that absolutely obvious with a spot of embroidery.
(NB: if you already know any of these words, it’s a sign you're totally addicted to travel)
1. “Kalsarikännit” (Finnish) Sometimes - just sometimes - nothing beats staying inside your house, in your underwear, drinking, with absolutely no intention of leaving -- especially if what you’re drinking is these frozen cocktails and your house just so happens to be beachfront villa you’re renting in a South American hotspot.
2. “Kummerspeck” (German) There’s comfort eating after watching a particularly emosh episode of Queer Eye and then there’s kummerspeck, which is when you gain weight from emotional binge-eating. It literally translates as 'grief bacon', which is a) what we do on the last day of an all-inclusive vacay and b) what we’d name our heavy metal band if we were in a heavy metal band.
3. “Pelinti” (Buli/Ghanan) We’ve all been there - we’ve all found the smell of takeaway pizza or barbecue pulled-pork so irresistible that we’ve done away with common sense and bitten into without once thinking, “this has just been cooked using fire and is probably hotter than the sun.” That’s pelinti. It’s when you bite into something so ridiculously, piping hot that it scolds your mouth and you scream out in pain (not knowing whether to do that weird chewing-while-inhaling-gulps-of-air move or to risk swallowing). It’s the actual worst.
4. “Yuputka” (Ulwa) Whether you’ve camped in The Lucky Country, been view-hunting in America's National Parks or watched a bushtucker trial, you’ll have experienced yuputka - that phantom feeling of something crawling on your skin even though there's nothing there. Of all the sensations out there, this is deffo the freakiest.
5. “Iktsuarpok” (Inuit) Before we tell you what this word means, we just want to make it known that every language should have a word for this because everyone’s experienced a feeling of anticipation so intense that you end up standing by the window while wait waiting for someone to arrive or, better yet, your Dock & Bay order.
6. “Torschlusspanik” (German) Translation: the fear that time is running out to act on life goals or opportunities… which it sort of is, and that’s why you should throw your hands in the air like you really do care and book that solo trip of a lifetime. Or that bucket list vacation. Or that adventure trip to New Zealand. Or whatever it is. Do it now, and do it with a proper YOLO attitude.
7. “L'Esprit De L'Escalier” (French) The French really have created the language of love, and we absolutely love this phrase ‘cos it quite literally means 'stairwell wit'. It’s where you think up the perfect retort after you’ve left the room, which is oh-so-frustrating. But it was probably for the best. Now all you need to do is take a deep breath and enjoy being the bigger person. Argh.
8. “Zeg” (Georgian) Right, this might not be our favourite word ever, nor the most poetic, but it is mind-boggling that more languages don’t have an uber-easy word for "the day after tomorrow." Mind. Boggling.
9. “Cafune” (Portuguese, but Brazilian Portuguese) Unofficial Fact About Love No.178: Nothing feels better than being on a super-fun couples vacay, laying on a pristine white beach cabana and cafuning - aka tenderly running your fingers through your lover's hair. Of course, you don’t have to be on a beach paradise to perform this #relationshipgoals move, but it definitely helps.
10. “Donaldkacsázás” (Hungarian) We didn’t realise it until we discovered the phrase 'Donald Duck-ing', but our towels are totally perfect for this, even if it’s just to answer the door because Donald Duck-ing is where you wear just a shirt... no trousers or underwear… just a shirt... hopefully at home. Now we’ve thought about this a lot, and the only reason someone would rock such a hawt look is because they’re on vacation and they can’t figure out how to stay cosy with just a sheet for a duvet. (Quick tip: as an alternative, you could nap in one of our towel Ponchos).
11. “Slampadato” (Italian) This refers to someone who is addicted to UV-tanning beds - and the Italians are right to have a word for this because we all know a slampadato. We also want to say to them, “What are you doing? Slap on some Factor 30 sun cream and top up your tan at the beach, where it’s safe and fun and awesome.”
12. “Pana Po'o" (Hawaiian) Chances are, if you were given a Cabana towel every time you scratched your head and tried to remember where you placed something, you’d have enough stripes to cover a herd of zebras in microfibre. Things like, "Hey, where did I put my Random Rainbow swim shorts again?" And, “For goodness sake, where’s my no-nonsense guide to packing light gone?” It’s a phrase we could all use a lot more, and probably will now. Go Hawaii.
Thanks for reading. For more travelspiration and far-flung adventure ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and, you know, don’t forget to grab yourself the most awesome towel ever made… and some shorts… and a hair wrap... and probably a poncho too. After all, everyone looks good in stripes.