Word of the Week: Zweisamkeit
Enlarge image (© www.colourbox.com) In German, the word for loneliness or solitude is Einsamkeit, which literally means "one-ness". But there's also a word for the opposite - that state of being that embodies you when you feel alone with one other person: Zweisamkeit.
Zweisamkeit literally means "two-ness". This is the word you get when you replace the ein ("one") from Einsamkeit and replace it with zwei ("two"). A better translation would be "togetherness". But Zweisamkeit is a very specific type of togetherness: the presence of just two individuals. Not three. Not four. Only two. These two individuals may be alone together. It's a different type of solitude - and definitely a more pleasant one.
This word is very romantic. When you speak of Zweisamkeit in German, you speak of a very intimate, harmonious togetherness without anyone else being in the picture. A couple sitting alone on an isolated beach would be a good example of Zweisamkeit. Although the setting may be lonely, the presence of two people instead of one makes this type of loneliness fulfilling and romantic. If it's been a long time since you've gone on a date with your significant other, it may be time to work on your Zweisamkeit, because after all, that's the state in which true bonding occurs.
(© Nicole Glass)
If you and your partner have a child, there's even another German word for you: Dreisamkeit. This word ("three-ness") is sometimes used to define three people being alone together - and in most cases, it's used to define a mother, a father and a child engaging in an activity together, with no one else present.
By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany