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Q: Language translations for negative words / phrases ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Language translations for negative words / phrases
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: dtnl42-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 19 Dec 2004 02:02 PST
Expires: 18 Jan 2005 02:02 PST
Question ID: 444599
I am told there is no translation into Swedish for the English phrase,
"I Can't" and that there is no such word as "unhappiness" in Thailand
- are these correct? Sources of information on these, plus other
examples, please

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 20 Dec 2004 07:56 PST

You might want to check back with the original source who told you
there were no such terms in Swedish or Thailand.

As noted by blazius-ga below (who is native to Scandanavia), "I can't"
very readily translates into Swedish.

And at this site for a Thai-English dictionary:

you can type in the English word "unhappiness" and be shown the Thai
translation for the term.

There's an interesting thread here of terms in several languages that
don't translate easily into English:

Beyond this, please let me know what additional information you would
like in the way of a complete answer to your question.



Clarification of Question by dtnl42-ga on 20 Dec 2004 09:21 PST
Sorry it seems as if my information was completely wrong

Sources to translation terms is fine to answer the question

Subject: Re: Language translations for negative words / phrases
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 20 Dec 2004 09:37 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for clarifying what you're after.

As noted earlier, the phrases you asked about do have
readily-available translations from English.

The Swedish term for "cannot" can be seen at this English-Swedish translation site:

and translates as kan inte (just as blazius-ga noted in the comments,
below) or as fŚr inte.

As I noted earlier, the word "unhappiness" readily translates into the
Thai language, as can be seen here:

Since the Thai term is in a specialized font, I can't (there's that
phrase again!) reproduce it here, but hopefully you can see it plainly
on your web browser when you visit the above site.

I trust this information fully meets your needs.  But before rating
this answer, please let me know if you'd like any additional
information on this topic.  Just post a Request for Clarification, and
I'll be happy to assist you further.

All the best for the holidays...!


search strategy -- Google searches for [ thai english dictionary ] and
[swedish english dictionary]
dtnl42-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Language translations for negative words / phrases
From: mavec-ga on 20 Dec 2004 00:36 PST
Ask this question at and save your $30.00. You can
get a very educated answer to this in either the Kudoz section or the
Forums section.
Best of luck,
Subject: Re: Language translations for negative words / phrases
From: blazius-ga on 20 Dec 2004 07:17 PST
"I can't" could easily be translated into Swedish: "jag kan inte". 
Someone is probably pulling your leg.
Subject: Re: Language translations for negative words / phrases
From: pinkfreud-ga on 20 Dec 2004 14:18 PST
There are a number of references which state that certain languages
(including Thai, Kiribati, and Irish Gaelic) lack a word for "no":

Subject: Re: Language translations for negative words / phrases
From: boixereu-ga on 22 Dec 2004 03:34 PST
Thai unhappiness translates as seen in

However, my Thai colleagues say this word is closer to "sadness". The
literal word that means unhappiness in Thai is a word saying "there is
no happiness", "mai mi kuamsuk". It can work as a noun and take
adjectives, so again we can say there is a translation for unhappiness
in Thai. We could argue that "mai mi kuamsuk" is actually saying
"there is no happiness", but we could say the same about the word in
English, Latin or many languages, first came "happiness", then the
negative was created to become a new word.

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