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  • We're hugely dependent on language to help us express what we really think and feel

    我們非常仰賴語言來幫助我們表達真正的感受和想法

  • but some languages are better than others at crisply naming important feelings.

    但有些語言卻比其他語言更精準地表達重要的情感

  • Germans have been geniuses at inventing long or what get called "compound words"

    德國人就非常擅長發明冗長或是所謂的「複合字」

  • that elegantly put a finger on sensations that we all know, but that other languages require whole clumsy sentences or paragraphs to express.

    來優雅的表達我們都知道卻難以形容的感覺,而其他語言則需要用笨拙的句子或用一個大段落表達

  • So, here is a small selection of the best of Germany's extraordinary range of compound words.

    所以,這裡有個德國最特別複合字排行榜

  • "Erklärungsnot"

    「Erklärungsnot」(解釋匱乏)

  • Literally, a distress at not having an explanation,

    很字面上的意思,無法解釋一件事情的煩躁感

  • the perfect way to define what a partner might feel when they're caught watching porn

    完美的定義出抓到另一半在看 A 片的感覺

  • or spotted in a restaurant with the hands they shouldn't be holding.

    或是被看到在餐廳牽著不該牽的手時的感受

  • More grandly, "Erklärungsnot" is something we feel when we realize we don't have any explanations for the big questions of life.

    更貼切點,「Erklärungsnot」就是當我們了解沒有任何說明可以解釋一個重大的人生課題時的感覺

  • It's a word that defines existential angst, as much as shame.

    這個字除了用來定應無法解釋的羞恥感外,還能解釋人類存在的焦慮

  • "Futterneid"

    「Futterneid」(類似忌妒、羨慕之意)

  • The feeling when you're eating with other people

    當你跟其他人在用餐時

  • and realize that they've ordered something better off the menu that you'd be dying to eat yourself.

    發現他們點的餐點比你的好吃,而你自己也超級想要吃

  • Perhaps you were trying to be abstemious. Now, you're just starving.

    也許你只是想節制點,但現在你只覺得很餓

  • The word recognizes that we spend much of our lives feeling we've ordered the wrong thing, and not just in restaurants.

    這個字指我們花太多時間想自己是不是點錯餐了,而這不只是在說餐廳裡而已

  • "Luftschloss"

    「Luftschloss」(形容不切實際的夢想)

  • Literally, a castle in the air, a dream that's unattainable

    字面上意思就是空中城堡,達不到的夢想

  • A word suggesting that German culture is deeply indulgent about big dreams,

    這個字顯現出德國文化非常鼓勵偉大的夢想

  • but also gently realistic about how hard it can be to bring them off.

    但同時也懂得想要達成夢想有多麼困難

  • "Backpfeifengesicht"

    「Backpfeifengesicht」(形容超級欠揍的臉)

  • A face that's begging to be slapped

    一張求別人賞巴掌的臉

  • Generosity towards others is key but German is bracing and frank enough to acknowledge

    寬以待人很重要,但德國人也有足夠勇氣並坦白的承認

  • that there are also moments when it's simply more honest to realize

    總是有些時候誠實以對比較簡單

  • we may have come face to face with a dickhead.

    我們都有可能與討厭鬼面對面

  • "Ruinenlust"

    「Ruinenlust」(廢物迷戀)

  • This word shows German at its most delightfully fetishistic and particular

    這個德語單字是指某人看到斷垣殘壁時

  • meaning the delight one can feel at seeing ruins.

    被激起的極度迷戀與特殊感受

  • Collapsed palaces and the rubble of temples put anxieties about the present into perspective

    倒塌的宮殿和教堂的瓦礫,使我們能從正確的角度去思考對於現實的憂慮

  • and induce a pleasing melancholy at the passage of all things.

    這些事物的流逝也引起了哀愁之美

  • "Kummerspeck"

    「Kummerspeck」(情緒悲傷而暴飲暴食)

  • Literally, "sorrow fat". A word that frankly recognizes how often, when one is deeply sad,

    字面上是指「悲傷而致的肥胖」,這個字直率表達出當一個人深陷悲傷之中

  • there is simply nothing more consoling to do than to head for the kitchen and eat.

    沒有比衝去廚房狂吃還要能得到安慰的事了

  • "Fremdschämen"

    「Fremdschämen」(為別人臉紅)

  • A word full of empathy that captures the agony one can feel at somebody else's embarassing misfortune or failing.

    這個充滿同情的字,指你看見了某人發生了很尷尬的不幸或失敗時,連你也會覺得很羞愧

  • A capacity to feel Fremdschämen is a high moral achievement and is at the root of kindness.

    這種感受是基於一個很高的道德標準和善良的本質而來的

  • "Weltschmerz"

    「Weltschmerz」(悲觀厭世)

  • Literally, "world sadness". A word that acknowledges that we are sometimes sad, not about this or that thing,

    字面上的意思就是「對世界感到悲傷」,我們有時並不是為什麼事情而傷心生氣

  • but about the whole basis of existence.

    而是對於整個世界的存在悲傷

  • The presence of the word indicates a culture that isn't forcely cheerful, but takes tragedy as a given.

    這個字指出不會故作樂觀的文化,而是視悲劇為一個事實

  • It is immensely reassuring to be able to tell a friend that one is presently lying under the duvet, suffering from Weltschmerz.

    這個字讓我們能很放心地告訴朋友我們正躲在被窩裡,受到「Weltschmerz」之苦

  • "Schadenfreude"

    「Schadenfreude」(類似幸災樂禍)

  • We're meant to be sad when others fail, but German will wisely accept that we often feel happiness,

    當我們看報別人失意時,我們理當該感到難過,但德國人明理的接受當我們看到他人的「不幸」(shaden)

  • "Freude" at the misfortunes, the "Shaden", of others.

    我們有時會感到「開心」(freude)

  • That isn't because we're mean, we just feel deeply reassured when we see confirmation that life is as hard for other people as it is for us.

    那不是因為我們人很差,只是當我們看到別人的人生也很難時,我們會感到欣慰

  • We can thank German for having so many of the right words to bring dignity to our troubles and hopes.

    我們得感謝德國人發明這麼多字,為我們的煩惱和願望給台階下

  • Learning languages, ultimately, has little to do with discovering the world per se

    語言的學習最終對探索世界本質其實是無關的

  • It's about acquiring tools to help us get a clearer grasp on the elusive parts of ourselves.

    其實語言不過只是幫助理解自己的工具罷了

We're hugely dependent on language to help us express what we really think and feel

我們非常仰賴語言來幫助我們表達真正的感受和想法

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B1 中級 中文 英國腔 德國人 悲傷 語言 字面 解釋 夢想

好神奇!為什麼德文有辦法解釋我們難以言喻的心情? (Why Germans Can Say Things No One Else Can)

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    Kristi Yang 發佈於 2017 年 03 月 07 日
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