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Untranslatable emotions

via [personal profile] jae

Artist Pei-Ying Lin, Master of Art in Design Interactions, is doing a project called "Unspeakableness." Part of the project is this infographic that takes an emotion classification map designed by W. Gerrod Parrott and overlays "untranslatable emotions in languages other than English."

http://uniquelang.peiyinglin.net/visualization/Other_Languages_b.png

I looked at the overlay and found several words that were supposedly untranslateable but I know words in English that seem to mean the same thing. For example, there's a Chinese word that is supposed to mean "A rather relaxed emotion and attitude towards everything, accept all the facts instead of worrying about it." I think a word for that in English is "equanimity." (This is a word commonly used in Buddhist studies, and it is an emotion, although some people probably don't think of it that way.) "Equanimity" doesn't appear on Parrott's map.

Other words or phrases I think translate into English well enough:
"(Hebrew) Literally means 'I'm sick on you.' It describes the feeling of obsession with someone or something." Crush? (Not on Parrott's chart) Obsession? (Not on the chart.) Infatuation? (On the chart...although it's connected to "lust" and not to "longing," which I disagree with.
"(Chinese) The feeling somewhere between sympathy and empathy, to feel the suffering of loved ones." I would call this "compassion." But Parrott has "compassion" connected to "affection" with no connection at all to "sadness" or "sympathy."
"(Japanese) The bubbly feeling of the moment of falling in love." The poly community calls something like this "new relationship energy," although that means more the first several months of falling in love, not the first instant. I'm not sure why it's different from "infatuation."

What do you think?

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/796300.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
bitterlawngnome
Jan. 12th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
limerance
firecat
Jan. 13th, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
For the Hebrew word or the Japanese word?
bitterlawngnome
Jan. 13th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
the japanese one, I think

btw I spelled it wrong, it's Limerence (with an e)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence
firecat
Jan. 13th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
There are some comments about limerence on the DW side of this post. (Pretty much everyone misspelled it. :)
graymalkin13
Jan. 13th, 2013 10:13 am (UTC)
The feeling somewhere between sympathy and empathy, to feel the suffering of loved ones." I would call this "compassion."

I would call it "compassion" too, and I would definitely connect it to "sadness" and "sympathy." The compassion (suffering because another is suffering) I feel most often/strongly is for animals, whether they're animals I know personally or other (domestic or wild) animals that are suffering for some reason.

The comments on your DW page make several interesting points. I don't feel qualified to comment on the correctness or incorrectness of anything in the map overlay or the comments thereon, but I do find fascinating how people articulate their various experiences of the emotions.
firecat
Jan. 13th, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
Same here on the animals. I think if I were making up the language I'd make different words for "the feeling I have when animals are suffering" and "the feeling I have when humans are suffering."
pure_agnostic
Jan. 14th, 2013 12:01 am (UTC)
The chart considers a lot of terms as emotions - like love, pleasure, optimism, attraction, woe, and hostility.

It also lists some emotions both inside and outside circles - such as surprise, exasperation, irritation, and envy.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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