What is the meaning of "saudade" and what good translations into other languages exist?

With real I mean real. What can happen here if this question will keep open?

The question is perfectly answerable.

I'm not talking what some SO users understand about what is "too broad". Discuss here without prejudice.

Even in SO we have thousands questions like this.

This is one question. As auxiliary it ask for examples. It's not a list request.

Can we see questions by its own value without blinded pull rules?

I'm not defending "my" question. It's a broad discussion.

  • 2
    Chill, the question wasn't closed yet. ;)
    – E_net4
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 12:03
  • 2
    @E_net4 My feeling is that bigown is trying to start a discussion about question quality...?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 12:14
  • 3
    It did look "spiced" with frustration. Nevertheless, I would certainly like to see the counter-argument from @ANeves.
    – E_net4
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 12:31
  • 1
    @E_net4 I had not noticed this meta question. It's not great, but I wrote my point of view on this. It's a lousy answer, but I think I should answer this question even if I cannot write a good reply.
    – ANeves
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


I've said plenty of times in various metas that questions that "ask for lists" can almost always be re-written to ask the same thing but not be in the form of a list and be acceptable on the site. The ones that can't are poorly structured questions in the first place, and this is not one of those. So I'd suggest we pay no heed to the nature of "lists" here, and continue to try and abolish that term from our lexicon.

That isn't to say that the question isn't without its faults. Aside from brevity, the most direct issue I can see with this question is that it's trying to do two things at once.

  • It's asking for the meaning of a particular word. A word that, based on the responses and comments, there's no single exact word that reflects the same concept in other languages. At least, not yet - the beauty of this question comes from the fact that maybe one could find that there's some language out there that has the same construct.

  • It's asking for translations of the word into as many languages as possible.

What I find an issue is that I think that the latter portion dilutes the potency of the question. Getting translations to phrases or concepts from any other languages can be very helpful for illustrating the nature of this word. But that only really helps when there is a solid word or phrase in that language - otherwise, the answer is pretty much just going to be the same as it goes in English, which only serves to bloat the question with a lot more words to say pretty much the exact same thing but in another language, where the only similarity is "We don't actually have the word so here's a bunch of ways to stumble about and get somewhat close to it."

The idea of translating to non-English languages has a lot of strong merit whenever the target language happens to have a word or phrase that does the job right. "In English, we don't have this word. However, in Taiwanese, we just happen to have this one word...", etc, that's useful information and that's not just to this question. Really, any question asking about meanings of particular words or phrases can be helped by pointing out other languages that have similar constructs. This applies not just to vocabulary, but also grammar and such. Thus it's not something I think is, or should be, linked to this question alone - it should be something people strive to provide in answers whereever appropriate.

I'd recommend trying to cut out that bloat. Go for the real power of the question. Invite people to proviide answers from other languages when they have properly reflective words that identify that concept. Don't just ask for every translation out there. As it stands currently, I don't think it's close-worthy. Just really brief and bloated - on the former point, that I had to read the answers to realize the usefulness of the question is pretty meh.

  • Do you see a list request in that question? Can you edit it to show me how it can be improved? Improve isn't better than close?
    – Maniero
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 13:41
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    Let me put aside what I just said about list requests not being a thing. I don't think the question has one. I can see phrasing that people can interpret as one (the original phrasing of "Can you give me the best translations in every language"). As for how to improve it - stop focusing on numerics. Don't say "just one example" as with your recent edit. Just be clear about how you can't find a single English word that reflects "saudade" and then add summat about providing another language word that does reflect saudade if they know one. Invite, don't dictate.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 13:50
  • This text is yours, not mine. My English is not good, but I don't write what you said I wrote. If you know how to improve it, go for it. I aprecciate it.
    – Maniero
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 13:54

What's the real problem with this question?

I saw a list question.
And I think a list question is not a quality question.

What can happen here if this question will keep open?

If a low quality question stays open, it degrades the quality of our site.

  • With real I mean real.
  • I'm not talking what some SO users understand about what is "too broad". Discuss here without prejudice.
  • Can we see questions by its own value without blinded pull rules?

This is not constructive. You have nothing to gain from this sort of sentences.

Relaxa, camarada.
Mesmo que um idiota (eu) estrague uma pergunta, é só uma e "no grande plano das coisas" é irrelevante... como um voto-negativo errado. Não faz diferença. A comunidade tem mais peso do que um idiota só.

And to explain how I saw what happened:

I agree with the answer from @GraceNote. (And it's much better explained than I could.)

To it, I add:

I read the question as asking for 1. the definition and meaning of the word, and 2. its translations.

I think a list-question is not a good type of question.
So I voted to close. Others also voted to close. Then some admin looked into it, and the question was not closed. The end?

About the improving instead of closing, this is what I would propose.

But this removes the half about the translations, and that changes what I understood to be the original intent, so I would not do it.

What is the meaning of "saudade"? It is often claimed that saudade cannot be translated into other languages. Is that so? If there are particularly direct or close translations, what are they?

Explanations of the etymology and history of use of saudade and its proposed translations are welcome.

  • 2
    I agree that my edit (similar to your text at the bottom) did substantially change the question, but figured (1) the OP could reject it; (2) this allows the question to stay open; (3) these are the things that I want to know and this is the canonical discussing-saudade-in-English question, so I'd better put them there; and (4) this matches well with the good answers posted at the time. I think the question is good now, though it did invite a "list answer" that should maybe be Community Wiki. By the way, I think Grace is a "she", not a "he".
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 14:21
  • Fair and true, @Frank .
    – ANeves
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 16:05
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    @Frank Thanks dor your help.
    – Maniero
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 17:33

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