I have been reading this thread with interest mainly because I see in it one of my most frustrating problems in training: Being able to put into words what it is exactly that we do. Not just in our feedback to others but in our "self talk" when trying to explain the principals to ourselves.
Most of us can agree that Aikido can seem very complicated and even overwhelming at times. There are so many different aspects at work in a single movement that we must deal with them separately to really define and develop each one. (An argument for kihon perhaps?) This can be difficult because it is so hard to stick to the subject, so to speak, since many times once we think we have completely isolated and idea we find that we must further address several more aspects individually.
Moreover, since I am not Japanese and was not raised speaking or, more appropriately, "living" Japanese, this task becomes even more complicated. As a result, I find that it becomes easier to get the true meaning of these words from "inside out" as opposed to attempting to translate it to its English equivalent and then apply it to my physical practice. In other words, I find it much easier to develop an understanding of principals in Japanese terminology by allowing them to sink in through physical training. In this way my cognitive process begins to associate the Japanese terms we use to describe Budo principles with English terms that I am already familiar with.