April 09, 2003
Saudade

>>The Portuguese word "saudade", loosely translated,denotes "longing", "melancholy", or "nostalgia." In the context of Portuguese, however, the term connotes a meaning that is irrevocably lost in translation. In his book In Portugal of 1912, A.F.G Bell makes a few disquisitional remarks on the meaning of "saudade" given its intended context:

"The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness."

Whereas a decontextualized reading of the "saudade" insinuates a rather dreary and destitute nostalgia for an impossible object, Bell's recontextualization posits saudade's meaning as a nostalgic yearning for an impossible object, only slightly tinged with the hues of melancholia.

From Cole Aker's review of Murakami, via MeFi.


Posted by kevin slavin at April 09, 2003 07:55 PM
Comments

ouch

Posted by: Kio on April 10, 2003 09:48 AM

What about Kaimos, derti, dertlesmeg? How does portugese nostalgia differ from say Greek, Turkish or Bulgarian despair/blues?

Posted by: henk on February 19, 2005 06:59 AM

Saudade is something you feel about somebody or a special place. It's when you'd like to be with/at...

Who feels saudades?

"All of us, who search for common roots,
who are endowed with a primordial
spirit that harkens back to our lost innocence
and beckons us to reach out to one another.
When the spirit calls, we feel saudades.
Temos saudades. We have saudades."

Posted by: p.lenza on March 14, 2005 01:35 PM

saudade, as words go in romance languages, has no literal translation in english. Brasilian portuguese is rich in words while english is cut and dry, only good for technology and comerce.

Posted by: micro on March 31, 2005 09:11 PM

In response to henk who misunderstood saudade to mean despair/blues It's neither despair nor blues.
It's closer to say "yearning" or better "missing" as in: "Tinha saudades tuas" meaning "I missed you".
Of course you can say all those things seperately in those other languages; the difference is all those things and more are encapsulated in ONE word, not a slash/word or convoluted phraseology.
Furthermore, it is reflective of mariners embarking for the discoveries, critical to Portuguese history.

Posted by: Cale O Alem on April 14, 2005 08:59 PM

Brazilian portuguese IS rich in words while english is CUT and DRY, only good for technology and comerce, you would not understand!!!

Posted by: bruno on April 17, 2005 11:16 PM

Brazilian portuguese IS rich in words while english is CUT and DRY, only good for technology and comerce, you would not understand!!!

Posted by: bruno on April 17, 2005 11:16 PM

can anyone help me find the equivalent of saudade in french?????????????? thank you in advance :)

Posted by: sheila on May 7, 2005 04:31 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:26 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:26 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:27 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:28 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:28 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:28 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:28 PM

so is it just like a word for stuff that happened in the past that you want back, or could it be used for missing someone you love emensly (sp)

Posted by: brian on May 16, 2005 08:28 PM

Language is a living breathing communication. All languages have wonderful expressions and Portuguese has those em abundancia, mas so does English. Don't forget Shakespeare, Milton, and all the other authors who have thrilled us tambem. We are all human and need to remember that.

Posted by: Lynn on February 11, 2006 06:32 PM
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