Language, explained

Untranslatable is a place where native speakers from around the world get to share, explain and define things from their language.

With thousands of entries in 77 languages from over 108 countries, this platform aims to give everyone an opportunity to share and explain slang, expressions, idioms, emojis, references from their part of the world.

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Italian Italy

darsi all'ippica*

Idiom USED Frequently BY Everyone

Literal translation: to take up horse racing. To change one's profession due to incapacity or unskillfulness in a previous job. This idiom is mostly used in the form of rather direct and dismissive advice/suggestion. Comparable to English "go climb a tree" or "go take up knitting."

"Luigi non è assolutamente in grado di svolgere il suo lavoro. Farebbe meglio a darsi all'ippica."

"Luigi is absolutely unable to do his job. He'd be better off taking up horce racing."


Beyond translation

Translation isn’t the only thing that defines what something means. At Untranslatable, we try to go beyond translation by sharing specific information about where something is used, how frequently, and by who.

Information that is often common knowledge to native speakers, but not to outsiders. This way you get an insider view into a foreign language.




Crowdfunded, crowdsourced

Untranslatable is made possible by you.

The project launched in 2019 on Kickstarter, and has since gathered thousands of entries from all over the world.



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A collection of dictionaries

Beyond our own database of entries, we also have a database documenting other amazing alternative dictionaries or project related to slang.

This includes dictionaries, online or printed, that are dedicated to non-standard varieties, or projects that focus on language varieties that are often left undocumented.





It's like asking a friend

Untranslatable is not a replacement for a traditional dictionary, but should be seen as an addition thereof. Think of it like asking a foreign friend to explain a local linguistic phenomenon to you.



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