Untranslatable Words – Gönül


This poetic Turkish word is used to describe all of one’s existing feelings, which create the abstract universe of a person. It is something in between the concrete and the abstract.


Gönül is different from the organ of the heart – yürek. Indeed, yürek is the heart that stops beating when one dies, yet gönül is the one that breaks when one is mistreated, and the essence of a person that lives on in people’s memories.

Gönül encompasses perhaps all of these yet none of them concretely: heart, soul, inclination, mind, desire. 

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