“Saudade:” A Portuguese Word for Longing

Fer Morais Laroca ’23 communicates the meaning of a word in her native language through song.


Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

Fer Morais Laroca '23

There’s a word in my native language, Portuguese, called “saudade”. The meaning loosely translates to missing someone, but the real meaning is much deeper than that. It means a deep longing for someone. I discovered the real meaning of this feeling a while ago. Of course, I’d felt like that before, but only with family: those I was sure I would see again. And “saudades” means you need someone with you, and when you don’t have them anymore, your heart aches for them. And as long as you are away from that person, you will wait for the day that you can be together again. After a while, that feeling gets more and more intense. There’s a point when you miss someone so much that it physically hurts to be away from them. You start to wonder whether they will be the same when you reunite. And, all the time, you remember them. Everything brings back a memory: a scenery, a scent, something you hear. Anything will remind you of them. And the worst thing is: there’s nothing you can do in order to stop this feeling. And so you have to wait until you’re reunited. Just wait.

“Standing By” by Pentatonix is one of my all time favorite songs, and it talks about two people that were separated for a really long time, but they know their place is next to each other. I chose this song because, even though it doesn’t use the word I described, it conveys the feeling really well, and really beautifully.