Here's how to say "thankful" around the world
It’s that time of year again: Christmas. Oh no, wait, I’m sorry. I was going to say Thanksgiving but I momentarily forgot about its existence, like almost all of the convenience stores and TV commercials worldwide that have already started advertising discounted candy canes and stockings. I’m continually perplexed at how quickly people overlook Thanksgiving, considering the positivity and opportunities for a full stomach that it offers. Surely, it deserves at least a few weeks of our appreciation before we start breaking out the Santa outfits and Mariah Carey holiday songs. If that’s too much to ask, we can at least give it one fun Internet article, right? On that note, here’s just a few ways to say “thankful” this year:
1) Agradecido – Spanish
Let’s start with an easy one AKA one that doesn’t have any upside-down letters or back-to-back consonants that would never work together in English.
2) Grato – Italian
Grato, like “I’m grato for the grated cheese that I get to sprinkle all over this plate of extra cheesy lasagna, because you can never have enough.”
3) Wdzięczny – Polish
Vee-gen-sch-ne. Is that how you pronounce this word? Because that’s what the online dictionaries have been saying but something tells me I’m missing a few syllables in there.
4) Agraït – Catalan
The Catalan translation of “thankful” or “grateful” is agraït, as in, “Ahh-great, I ate so much turkey, even my Thanksgiving pants are starting to feel tight.”
5) Dankbar – German
Don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at a dank bar when you could celebrate it with family and be dankbar! (Laughs uncontrollably, barrel-rolls away.)
6) благодарный – Russian
Apparently this collection of Russian characters translates roughly into something like “blagodarnyy” which, with the word “darn” thrown in the middle, seems like the most tame Russian word I’ve ever heard.
7) Müteşekkir – Turkish
Apparently the beginning of this word sounds less like “mute” and more like “moot.” You know, like a moot point.
8) Reconnaissant – French
No confirmation on whether or not “reconnaissant” means thankful or is actually just the name of a buttery, flaky pastry that the French are withholding from us. We apprehended the croissant so mark my words, we will come for the reconnaissant next.
9) Taknemmelig – Danish
The Norwegian also share a similar word for thankful, takknemlig, but they had the sense to cut out the extra “m”s and “e”s to make our lives a little bit easier. Thanks Norwegians!
10) Recunoscător – Romanian
The Romanian word for “grateful” sounds more like some epic superhero that would fly in to save innocent civilians from awkward Thanksgiving dinner encounters.
Oblivious Aunt Martha: Sweetie! Whatever happened to that boy you were talking about last year? That, um, Justin Timberlake character? Are you two still “going”?
Conversation victim: Well, um, actually…
Recunoscător: Hello Aunt Martha. Have you heard Adele’s new album?
11) Dėkingas – Lithuanian
All of these words are well and good but the real winner here, the real “king” is “dėkingas,” the Lithuanian word for thankful. If you find yourself in Lithuania this turkey day, just imagine you’re giving thanks to “de-king.” If you prefer matriarchy and/or the thought of Beyoncé becoming our next leader, “de-queen” also works to help remember this term.
12) þakklát – Icelandic
Make sure to pack light (or should I say, þakklát) when you head out to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year, or else you may end up becoming overstuffed with cranberry sauce. Some places have said that þakklát means something more akin to “appreciate” (the verb) instead of thankful (the adjective) so if any Icelandic folk out there have any intel, feel free to throw it out.
13) Kiitollinen – Finnish
“You can never have too many letters! In fact, let’s double everything up! Two of everything!” is what I assume Finnish people say, always.
14) Ddiolchgar – Welsh
If this doesn’t sound like the future name of an exotic chocolate brand, I don’t know what would.
15) Hálás – Hungarian
All hail this Hungarian word for thankful, hálás.
I could go on but I won’t, and not just because I’m close to running out of language options on Google translate, but because I don’t really think we need more than 15 words to express our thanks this season. We don’t even need one. We just need to sit down with people we love and enjoy their presence for a day, just long enough to forget that you’ll all be tripping over each other in 24 hours time to get a PS4 on sale at your local Black Friday shopping outlet.
Featured image via Flicker Creative Commons/Judy Merrill-Smith.