Untranslatable Joy

Untranslatable Joy

Sunday, April 1, 2018
| Mark 16:1-8

What English word would you use to describe the joy when you realize that Christ is risen?

Gigil.

Have you ever looked at someone you especially love and cherish and felt that? Gigil is a Tagalog word (a language of the Philippines) that describes the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished, and there's no equivalent word in English that describes that emotion.

This is where we're going -- emotions for which our language, English, provides no help. Perhaps like the emotion we feel on Easter Sunday morning. What word or words do we use to describe our state of being with regard to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? We'll come back to that. But, first, some more examples.

Perhaps you love walking in the wind, perhaps even against the wind. It somehow makes you feel alive and renewed. Or, in other words, you feel uitwaaien -- a Dutch word which describes this specific experience. But again, there's no single English word to describe that.

Words like this are the special interest of Tim Lomas at the University of East London. He has...


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