When you start learning a new language, you very quickly discover there are words in other languages that have no exact translation in English (or your own mother-tongue). This series explores those linguistic novelties….
#4 – Hygge (pronounced “Hue-ga”)
Today’s Cool Non-English word comes from Denmark!
|Image Source: Julien Widmer (Unsplash)|
Hygge is usually translated into English as “cozy” or “coziness.” But for the Danish, it has many more layers of meaning.
The origins of the word describe it as “well-being.” A lot of attempts to articulate it involve a sense of warmth – lighting candles, snuggling under a blanket, spending time with friends and family around a fireplace. It is about creating a certain atmosphere where you are simultaneously relaxed and deeply satisfied with life – contenment would certainly be an applicable word for Hygge.
The word has been trending on the internet recently. I believe it is part of the “minimalist” movement – in this crazy busy world, people are striving hard to get back to enjoying the simple things in life. I think Hygge has a lot to offer in this space. It also helps that it is coming up to Christmas and a lot of the Northern Hemisphere is bunking down inside, lighting candles and trying to stay warm.
(But don’t worry – as I write this it is 40+ degrees in Australia – but we can still try out Hygge! We just do it over Christmas BBQs and picnics instead – or maybe even the local Carols by Candlelight events 🙂 )
From my research, I might surmise it as a sense of creating a blanket for your soul. I think this can only be a healthy thing. So as you enjoy the end of year festivities and break, take some time to plan some Hygge moments into your life – I’m sure you won’t regret it!
“Hygge was never meant to be translated – it was meant to be felt” – ToveMaren Stakkestad
To learn more about Hygge, hear are some resources: