Do you know what the word “mangata” means?

April 22, 2024 My travel Journal, Nature Photography


A few days ago, I found this word that caught my attention. I didn’t know it and was amazed when I looked for its meaning; it seemed magical. Languages have evolved since prehistory, and although linguists think that just as all humans come from a common ancestor, there was also a “mother language,” when human groups began to expand on our planet, they also transformed their languages.

A unique word 

Each ethnic group created words to express emotions and experiences specific to their community. Many of these words can be translated into other languages because they are familiar to everyone, simply because we are human. Others do not have a translation because, in some places, they did not have the need to invent them, or they were created by a minority group. Today, I want to refer to that little word that has no translation in any of the main languages: “mangata” is a unique word in Swedish. It refers to the moon’s reflection in the water, like a path or a river over its surface. It comes from the words moon and path.

A beautiful light path

Ah! I am sure that we have all seen it and have been delighted to see it shine on the sea, a lake, a river, or even the shiny surface of ice. But why didn’t we need to give it a name? Naming something and giving a name is a symbol of power; it is capturing it and making it real. It takes a poet’s soul to create a word to designate something so beautiful and intangible, but from now on, I will incorporate it into my life. I am still determining if I will use it from Swedish or if I should create a new word to refer to that beautiful path of light.

Please help me; leave me in the comments which word you would invent for this beautiful light path.


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