A sister of mine asked me if there’s an English word for halák. I said yes, there is. She was surprised and amused at the same time, because all along she thought that there was none. I told her that, in many instances, a Filipino term or word would have its corresponding English equivalent—not necessarily a direct or exact translation but at the least an acceptable and appropriate counterpart. But, of course, there will always be words in Filipino which could not be translated exactly—and this should be unsurprising, considering that every language has its own uniqueness. As what any linguist would tell you, no language can be translated exactly in its entirety to another language.
Anyway, here are some Filipino words which some people think have no corresponding equivalents in English.
agiw/sapot – cobweb / spider web (“the web spun by a spider”)
alimuom – petrichor (“the scent of rain on dry earth”)
halák – wheeze (“a husky, rasping, or whistling sound or breathing”)
langíb – scab (“the incrustation that forms over a sore or wound during healing”)
pagpapakìpot/pakìpot – accismus/accismist (“a form of irony in which one pretends disinterest and refuses something while actually wanting it”)
pálong – wattle (“a fleshy flap of skin or structure hanging from various parts of the head or neck in several groups of birds, goats, and other animals”)
The Last Leaf
Of course, not all Filipino words may be translated exactly into English; in the same manner that not all English words have their exact counterparts in Filipino. However, many Filipino words that some people think don’t have counterparts in English turn out to have equivalents after all. It’s just a matter of looking more deeply into the language, doing your homework or researching especially via the Internet.