Sharing the Gift of Words

21 December 2022
2 min read
Gift of Words

Can words reach beyond borders?

We’ve often talked about how language can be a force for good. We’ve highlighted its power to connect us, teach us about new places and other people’s experiences, spark conversations, and help us make sense of the world around us. We’ve emphasized the ability that words have to enrich our lives and to bring people together from across the world.

For our Gift of Words Campaign, we wanted to celebrate the power of language to reach beyond borders and the multiculturalism of our connected world, in which ‘borrowing’ words from different languages and dialects – and include them in our everyday expressions – is just part of a language’s natural process.

We asked people around the world – adults, children, authors, and colleagues – what words they wish they could ‘gift’. What we’ve learned so far is that sharing words can enable us to communicate to an even greater extent. Here are some of the beautiful contributions from our colleagues:

  • Saudade (Portuguese)

Melancholic longing for the return of something or someone.

  • Akshaya (Sanskrit)

Eternal or everlasting sense of happiness, success, and hope.

  • Khashf (Arabic)

The sound snow makes when being walked on.

  • Natsukashii (Japanese)

Nostalgia for past joys and good memories.

  • Apapachar (Spanish)

Hugging with your soul. An expression of genuinely caring for someone else and treating them with kindness, support or empathy.

  • Kung’alang’ala (Taita)

Shining brighter than bright, especially with high intensity.

  • Apañar (Spanish)

Caring for and supporting someone else emotionally, in an especially warm way. It expresses love & empathy.

  • Hiraeth (Welsh)

Missing a time, an era, or a person. It is associated with the bittersweet memory of missing something or someone, while being grateful of that/their existence.

  • A’salam wa’aleikum / Wa’aleikum assalam (Arabic)

‘May peace be upon you’ / ‘And also upon you’. It’s a warm and familiar greeting but also the proper way to say hello and make someone feel instantly welcome.

As we approach 2023, we’ll continue to find opportunities to celebrate language and the gifts of expression and understanding it gives us. You can join the festive spirit by visiting our ‘Gift of Words’ 12 day Advent Calendar on  and . What word would you share with others?

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