German Word of the Day: Die Geborgenheit
Geborgenheit is used to describe a state of comfort and well-being. It is often translated as ‘security’, but in fact it is a feeling which is rather untranslatable.
For different people, Geborgenheit will represent different things. For some, it is the feeling of comfort, security and love in a romantic relationship, or the openness and honesty you feel when with a close friend.
For others it describes something even more specific, such as the familiarity and warmth one gets from eating home-cooked food when they return to their childhood home. Geborgenheit is often associated with childhood as these are our first memories of the feeling.
It can also describe a more general sense and a peaceful security in life; the feeling of comfort when you are in a place where you feel yourself and where you can trust both yourself and others.
It seems there is no adequate English definition for such a broad and abstract concept, but perhaps a combination of ‘comfort’, ‘familiarity’ and ‘contentment’ coins the concept best.
Meine Kinder genießen die Geborgenheit einer liebevollen Familie.
My children enjoy the comfort of a loving family.
Wir können die Geborgenheit empfinden beim Meditieren oder in der Natur.
We can find contentment through meditation and through nature.