I think that he (as in the other thread once) is more interested in words that resemble the actual culture and are therefore untranslatable, like German geborgen or Danish hyggelig. Vrkhazian's word juṉlumḥud fits perfectly in that pattern.
Lao Kou's knönazbans fits in a different category, one that hoeroathlo might also be interested in: words that have a pretty straightforward translation in English, but still will be incredibly hard for a professional translator to cope with and still cover all the information. A very famous natlang example is Tshiluba's ilunga. It translates as “a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time”. You see, pretty straightforward but still, deal with it in a normal sentence.
I doubt the categories you've outlined are so neatly drawn as that. The "untranslatables" aren't untranslatable per se:
geborgen - safe, secure
hygge - coziness, comfort
saudade - nostalgic yearning
wabisabi - aesthetic sense emphasizing quiet simplicity and subdued refinement
litost - grief, misery
it's that you can't possibly easily and concisely translate in all the visceral connotative goo that these words embody. As such, it's very easy to wave away any translation with a "Unless you're German/Danish/Portuguese/Japanese/Czech, you will never fully
understand the true
meaning of these words." (certain languages are more or less forgiving to those who have clocked in rather some time living in the culture)
. As such, one could infuse knönazbans
with so much connotative goo and individual episodic memory as to say, "Unless you're a Géarthçins, you will never fully
understand the true
meaning of knönazbans
. We tried to come close, but it's really untranslatable."
Meanwhile, I would suggest that "person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time" for ilunga
is a definition or an explanation (and a bit pat and tidy at that), not
a translation. So juṉlumḥud
can be explained
as "warriors specially trained to deal with various types of Vrkhazhian demonic creatures". Sure, in translation, carting around explanatory sentences or even paragraphs every time one of these words pops up is hardly convenient. In which case, use the native word and add an explanatory footnote the first time you use it. With increased exposure, these words can be no more untranslatable than pierogi
, or samurai
. Unwieldy to one-to-one translation (if that
's what one means by "untranslatable"), yes; "untranslatable" (with the mysterious aura of exotica that word can conjure), no.