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A Baiuca, a tasca in Alfama, photo by Rodrigo Cabrita
September 27, 2016

Tasca Tables: An Introduction to the Portuguese Tradition

By Tiago Pais
Lisbon -- There is a Portuguese word famous for allegedly being untranslatable in any language. That word is saudade, an emotional state caused by missing someone or desiring something that does not exist anymore. Read more
Lisbon -- There is a Portuguese word famous for allegedly being untranslatable in any language. That word is saudade, an emotional state caused by missing someone or desiring something that does not exist anymore. For years, children have been told that only lusophones are able to feel saudade, since others cannot express that feeling. It’s a compelling story, but, unfortunately, it’s also far from true: saudade means virtually the same thing as añorar or echar de menos in Spanish, nostalgic longing in English, or sehnsucht in German.

If one is looking for a truly untranslatable word in Portuguese, he or she should look no further than right around the corner, to that cheap no-frills restaurant serving large portions of traditional food piled onto large aluminum platters.Read more