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"Untranslatable" Urdu word

Posted: 2019-12-18, 16:54
by EirikurGK
Hello all.

In a book of supposedly untranslatable words, the Urdu "naz" (not sure if a is long or short") is said to mean:

"The pride and assurance that comes from knowing you are loved unconditionally."

Is this accurate?

Does anyone know the source of this definition (i.e. which dictionary)?

Many thanks.

Re: "Untranslatable" Urdu word

Posted: 2019-12-18, 20:39
by linguoboy
Platt's dictionary defines nāz (ناز) as "blandishment, coquetry, playfulness, amorous playfulness, feigned disdain; dalliance, toying; fondling, coaxing, soothing or endearing expression; — pride, conceit, consequential airs, whims; — softness, delicacy; elegance, gracefulness". So a range of meaning not found in any particular English word (thus fulfilling the definition of "untranslatable") but pretty far from the definition "pride and assurance that comes from knowing you are loved unconditionally".

Re: "Untranslatable" Urdu word

Posted: 2019-12-19, 22:46
by EirikurGK
Thank you for the response.

Is this dictionary a standard work?

I was fairly sure that this definition was not accurate but I'm really curious to find out where it came from.

The author of the book where it appears does not offer any references, and is not a linguist or a native speaker, so they must have had some source, whether accurate or not.

Re: "Untranslatable" Urdu word

Posted: 2019-12-26, 6:13
by eskandar
It's perhaps the most highly regarded dictionary for late 19th century Hindi/Urdu/Hindustani.

I would say the definition ِin your book is not really accurate. Naaz (ناز) is indeed a word with a lot of cultural specificity. It's a particular kind of coquetry whereby someone who is desired acts pridefully coy and forces the one who desires them to endure their cruelty. (You can tell by how awkwardly worded my description is, despite my efforts, that this is truly a difficult word to translate!)