By The Bridge Staff Writers
In your perilous travels through the rocky terrain of the English language, you may have noticed there are certain experiences, feelings, and states of mind for which English offers no elegant means of expression. Such linguistic oversights offer a stark contrast to the fastidious German language, which famously “has a word for everything.” Take, for example, the word schadenfreude, defined as the pleasure derived from someone else’s misfortune. Or fernweh, the feeling of wishing you were somewhere else. But German isn’t the only language to fill in the blanks English fails to define. In this new column, we’ll introduce you to words you never knew you needed, because they don’t have an English equivalent. (We’ll even try to help you pronounce them.)
The tender or sentimental feeling you have toward someone you once loved but no longer do. [noun]
This word was originally intended to describe the feeling a man has when he has fallen out of love with a woman, but we decided it’s too good to limit its use to any one gender. Imagine how much easier it would be to tell your significant other that you feel razbliuto, instead of having to resort to overused, cringe-inducing phrases such as, “It’s not you, it’s me,” or “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” There’s the added benefit that, unless your formerly-loved-one speaks Russian, they probably won’t understand what you’ve just said. (And by the time they figure it out, you’ll be safely out of range.)
Razbliuto also comes in handy if you’re trying to explain that you still have feelings for a former partner, but not “I’m-still-carrying-a-torch-for-them” kind of feelings. It evokes the nuanced, pastel shade of sentiment we have for someone who was once in our life, but whom, at the end of the day, we don’t want back. Basically, razbliuto expresses affection absent of desire in a way the clunky “I only like him as a friend” can’t.