Breakdown in communication

Whether the person you are talking to suffers from latah (Indonesian), the uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things, or from chenyin (Chinese), hesitating and muttering to oneself, conversation may not always be quite as we’d like it:

Catra patra (Turkish) the speaking of a language incorrectly and brokenly

Nyelonong (Indonesian) to interrupt without apology

Akkisuitok (Inuit) never to answer

Dui niu tanqin (Chinese) to talk over someone’s head or address the wrong audience (literally, to play the lute to a cow)

‘a’ama (Hawaiian) someone who speaks rapidly, hiding their meaning from one person whilst communicating it to another

dakat’ (Russian) to keep saying yes

dialogue de sourds (French) a discussion in which neither party listens to the other (literally, dialogue of the deaf)

mokita (Kiriwana, Papua New Guinea) the truth that all know but no one talks about