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Is there a good English translation for Fernweh? dict.leo.org suggests wanderlust and itchy feet, but they are both more about travelling around rather than going away.

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it's funny that one of the few options here is another German word (even if it's not used that much anymore.) –  splattne May 24 '11 at 20:49
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I'd say it's one of the words like "Angst" or "Weltschmerz" that are just not understandable to Non-native German speakers and impossible to translate accurately :-) –  Sean Patrick Floyd May 25 '11 at 9:57
    
I am not familiar with Fernweh but itchy feet is very much a term used to describe someone who wants to "go away". From what you've said, it sounds like that might be accurate. –  BudgieInWA May 25 '11 at 10:35

6 Answers 6

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think "wanderlust" and "itchy feet" are the best translations. If you're using it in combination with a specific location, e.g.

Wer Fernweh nach Australien hat, ...

you could translate it to

Anyone with a longing for Australia...

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Another suggestion from LEO:

She's got the travel bug.

See here.

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A programmer would never say that. :) –  toscho May 25 '11 at 2:39
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I'm a programmer and I say that a lot. (Not now thow since I am currently travelling) –  hippietrail Jun 3 '11 at 23:33

Itchy feet is an urge to get away/move on from where one's current location, whereas wanderlust is an urge to travel in a more continuous sense.

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When I first heard of this term, I thought of it more as something deeper than run-of-the-mill wanderlust. I thought of it as that pang you get when you see a place you've never been to, yet feels like you belong there, like in another life that was your home, and you long to reclaim it. Perhaps that is inaccurate, but it's how I first learned the word and how I've thought of it ever since. But yeah, not the simplest translation, haha.

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+1 for pang, it's useful to explain the concept at least –  fifaltra Dec 31 '13 at 9:10

I once heard "Far Cry" but I don't find something about it on the Internet.

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I've only seen far cry used as a measurement of distance. (M-W) –  Tim N May 25 '11 at 9:53
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This is a far cry from a reliable answer. –  Phira May 30 '11 at 11:31

I'd translate Fernweh (somewhat literally) as "a longing for the faraway." It would be the opposite of "homesickness."

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