Transformational words that don’t exist in English

24 Jul
I came across an unusual word in Portuguese yesterday. Although I don’t recall how I encountered it, the word estadualizar showed up somewhere. This is a Portuguese word which means “become statal” according to WordReference. To become like a state doesn’t strike me as a very common concept to express, and I am not surprised that some of the other dictionaries and translation machines that I looked had had no entry for estadualizar. But I am most interested in how difficult it is to smoothly express the idea in English. To become like a state could be more or less said as “statify,” despite being somewhat awkward sounding and not officially existing in English.
Regardless, the concept of a specific of this category that doesn’t exist in English isn’t new. If my suspicion is correct, Portuguese and Spanish both have a type of word that ends with –zar that describes a change from one thing to another, similar to the English -ize in democratize, nationalize, and  heroize.
Roughly "informationalize the forces, win the informationalization struggle"

Roughly “informationalize the forces, win the informationalization struggle”

This is roughly matched in Chinese by –, with 信息化 being the prime example of a concept that is awkward to describe in English, if only because we don’t formally have a word for “informationization.” The concept is simple enough: more something more information-dense or introduce information into a system (information in this sense means information technology). Despite the concept being simple enough, English just doesn’t have one single word to describe that.

What other words do you know that describe a transformation but which don’t exist in English?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: