Paula and Galina have been mulling over the English translation of the word ‘Heimat’ for quite a while now. Whilst in German the word conjures up images of antlers, lederhosen and green meadows, the direct translation of ‘home’ doesn’t quite cut the mustard as a sufficient translation.
And another English equivalent, 'homeland', has more religious or political connotations, conjuring up old spirituals or US-style Homeland Security. The alternative translation, 'native country', doesn't really do the term justice either. The German word can be best associated with a sense of belonging and identity with your place of origin, but is often left untranslated in texts, highlighting the fact that it is a concept that doesn't exist in the same way in the English language.
So maybe us Brits just don't have a Heimat in the German sense of the word? But at least we have rolling countryside, afternoon tea, pubs and English breakfasts by means of consolation!