“Serendipity” Is Difficult To Translate


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • serendipity: a happy accident
  • translate: to express the same words in a different language
  • title: to give something a title
  • fairy tale: a fantasy story
  • adjective: a describing word

“Serendipity” Is Difficult To Translate

One of the English words that is most often is “serendipity”. It means “a happy accident” or “an unexpected discovery or fortune”. The word “serendipity” has been identified as one of the most difficult English words to translate. It has also been listed as one of Britain’s words. The first use of the word was in the by writer Horace Walpole who a fairytale The Three Princes of Serendip. “Serendip” was the previous name for . In the story, the main characters make discoveries of things they are not looking for. The adjective form of serendipity is “serendipitous”.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What does “serendipity” mean?
  2. Why does the report mention people from Britain?
  3. What do the main characters do in Walpole’s fairytale?

Discussion Questions: What word in your language is difficult to translate into English, and why?

show Answers

One Comment on “Serendipity” Is Difficult To Translate

  1. GrammarStalinist says:


    Nice site; I would however just like to point out that the ‘t’ in ‘often’ is not actually supposed to be pronounced. It is unfortunately common during the overpronounciation of such words for ‘lost’ consonants to be reintroduced by way of hypercorrection.

    Additionally, the correct syntax of this sentence would be ‘The adjectival form of serendipity’.

    Otherwise, very well done. Solid job 🙂

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