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  • Today I want to talk about the meaning of words,

    譯者: Bowen Cai 審譯者: 易帆 余

  • how we define them

    今天我想說一說詞語的意義,

  • and how they, almost as revenge,

    說一說我們如何定義它們

  • define us.

    以及它們如何反過來

  • The English language is a magnificent sponge.

    定義了我們。

  • I love the English language. I'm glad that I speak it.

    英語這門語言是座大熔爐。

  • But for all that, it has a lot of holes.

    我喜愛英語,我也樂意說英語。

  • In Greek, there's a word, "lachesism"

    但儘管如此,英語有許多缺陷。

  • which is the hunger for disaster.

    在希臘,有一個單詞叫 「lanchesism」,

  • You know, when you see a thunderstorm on the horizon

    意思是對災難的渴望。

  • and you just find yourself rooting for the storm.

    當你在遠處地平線看到狂風暴雨,

  • In Mandarin, they have a word "yù yī" --

    你卻發現你在為狂風暴雨喝彩。

  • I'm not pronouncing that correctly --

    中國普通話有一個詞叫「yù yī」—— (玉衣,作者編造的字)

  • which means the longing to feel intensely again

    我的發音不是很標準——

  • the way you did when you were a kid.

    意思是渴望再一次強烈感受到

  • In Polish, they have a word "jouska"

    兒少時最初的感動。

  • which is the kind of hypothetical conversation

    在波蘭語中, 他們有一個單詞叫「jouska」,

  • that you compulsively play out in your head.

    意思是在你腦海中被迫出現的

  • And finally, in German, of course in German,

    假設性對話。

  • they have a word called "zielschmerz"

    最後,當然,在德語中,

  • which is the dread of getting what you want.

    有一個詞叫做「zielschmerz」,

  • (Laughter)

    意思是對你 很想得到的東西感到敬畏。

  • Finally fulfilling a lifelong dream.

    (笑聲)

  • I'm German myself, so I know exactly what that feels like.

    雖然你最後實現了夢想……

  • Now, I'm not sure if I would use any of these words

    我自己是德國人, 所以我知道那是什麼樣的感覺。

  • as I go about my day,

    我並不清楚我是否在日常生活中

  • but I'm really glad they exist.

    會使用這些單詞,

  • But the only reason they exist is because I made them up.

    但是我對這些 單詞的存在而感到高興。

  • I am the author of "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows,"

    但其實它們存在的原因是 這些字都是我編造出來的。

  • which I've been writing for the last seven years.

    我是「The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows」網站創始人,

  • And the whole mission of the project

    在過去七年中 我一直在編寫這個字典。

  • is to find holes in the language of emotion

    這個計劃的總體的目標

  • and try to fill them

    是發現情感語言的漏洞,

  • so that we have a way of talking about all those human peccadilloes

    並且嘗試著將漏洞補上,

  • and quirks of the human condition

    如此我們就有了一種可以討論

  • that we all feel but may not think to talk about

    人類種種過失與怪癖狀態的方法,

  • because we don't have the words to do it.

    而那種狀態我們經常都能感受到, 但卻不知道該如何形容它,

  • And about halfway through this project,

    因為我們並沒有相對應的詞語 去描繪當下的狀態。

  • I defined "sonder,"

    在這個計劃的中途,

  • the idea that we all think of ourselves as the main character

    我定義了一個詞「sonder」,

  • and everyone else is just extras.

    意思是我們都認為我們自己是主角,

  • But in reality, we're all the main character,

    其他人只是臨時演員。

  • and you yourself are an extra in someone else's story.

    但是現實是,你認為自己是主角,

  • And so as soon as I published that,

    可是你在別人的故事裡 卻只是配角罷了。

  • I got a lot of response from people

    然後我一發布這個詞語的定義,

  • saying, "Thank you for giving voice to something I had felt all my life

    我就收到了來自人們許多的回覆,

  • but there was no word for that."

    說到「謝謝您給了我一生都感覺到,

  • So it made them feel less alone.

    卻無法用單詞 去表達的感覺下了定義。 」

  • That's the power of words,

    所以這使得他們不再那麼孤單。

  • to make us feel less alone.

    這就是詞語的魅力,

  • And it was not long after that

    使得我們也不那麼孤單。

  • that I started to notice sonder

    不久之後,

  • being used earnestly in conversations online,

    我開始注意到「sonder」這個詞

  • and not long after I actually noticed it,

    被熱烈地用在網絡交流當中,

  • I caught it next to me in an actual conversation in person.

    就在我注意到這個之後沒過多久,

  • There is no stranger feeling than making up a word

    我就發現這個詞用在 我身邊人與人之間的對話當中了。

  • and then seeing it take on a mind of its own.

    沒有什麼感覺比整理出一個詞彙 並且看著它被人們接受

  • I don't have a word for that yet, but I will.

    來的更加奇怪了。

  • (Laughter)

    我還沒有一個詞語 對這種感覺進行解釋,

  • I'm working on it.

    但是早晚我會的。

  • I started to think about what makes words real,

    (笑聲)

  • because a lot of people ask me,

    我已經開始做這件事了。

  • the most common thing I got from people is,

    我開始思考是什麼原因 讓這些詞語成真,

  • "Well, are these words made up? I don't really understand."

    因為有許多人問我,

  • And I didn't really know what to tell them

    人們經常提出的問題是:

  • because once sonder started to take off,

    「那麼,這些詞語是編造的嗎? 我真的不理解啊。」

  • who am I to say what words are real and what aren't.

    我真的不知道怎麼回答他們,

  • And so I sort of felt like Steve Jobs, who described his epiphany

    因為當「sonder」 這個詞開始流行時,

  • as when he realized that most of us, as we go through the day,

    我算老幾,能跟別人說 哪些詞語是真的、哪些不是真的?

  • we just try to avoid bouncing against the walls too much

    而我覺得我有點像史蒂夫·喬布斯 在形容他自己頓悟時所描寫道的,

  • and just sort of get on with things.

    他意識到,大部分人在生活中

  • But once you realize that people --

    都在試圖避免碰壁麻煩的事,

  • that this world was built by people no smarter than you,

    並且希望萬事都很順利。

  • then you can reach out and touch those walls

    但,一旦你了解那些人——

  • and even put your hand through them

    了解這個世界是由那些 不比你聰明的人所建構成時,

  • and realize that you have the power to change it.

    那麼你就可以跨過那道牆壁,

  • And when people ask me, "Are these words real?"

    甚至伸出手幫他們一把,

  • I had a variety of answers that I tried out.

    並且意識到自己就是那個 有能力改變這些麻煩的人。

  • Some of them made sense. Some of them didn't.

    當人們問我, 「這些詞語是真的嗎?」

  • But one of them I tried out was,

    我曾經有過許多的答案 去試著回答這個問題。

  • "Well, a word is real if you want it to be real."

    有一些答案說得通。 有一些答案說不通。

  • The way that this path is real because people wanted it to be there.

    但是有一個答案是,

  • (Laughter)

    「如果你認為它是真的, 那它就會變真的。」

  • It happens on college campuses all the time.

    這個道理(路)之所以會存在 就是因為人們想要它存在。

  • It's called a "desire path."

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    這一幕在大學校園裡經常發生。

  • But then I decided, what people are really asking

    這叫做「渴望的小道」。

  • when they're asking if a word is real, they're really asking,

    (笑聲)

  • "Well, how many brains will this give me access to?"

    但是之後我發現 當他們問這個詞語是否真實存在時,

  • Because I think that's a lot of how we look at language.

    他們其實在問的是,

  • A word is essentially a key

    「那麼,通過這個詞語 我能敞開多少人的心扉呢? 」

  • that gets us into certain people's heads.

    因為我覺得這就是我們 看待語言作用的方式。

  • And if it gets us into one brain,

    詞語是一把可以開啟人們大腦、

  • it's not really worth it,

    明白他人在想什麼的關鍵鑰匙。

  • not really worth knowing.

    如果這把鑰匙只有一個人了解,

  • Two brains, eh, it depends on who it is.

    那它就沒啥價值,

  • A million brains, OK, now we're talking.

    也不值得去了解。

  • And so a real word is one that gets you access to as many brains as you can.

    如果兩個人了解的話, 就要取決於是誰了。

  • That's what makes it worth knowing.

    如果是一百萬個人能了解的話, 是的,我們的對話才有意義。

  • Incidentally, the realest word of all by this measure is this.

    因此一個真實存在的詞語 能幫助你了解更多人。

  • [O.K.]

    這就是了解詞語魅力的所在。

  • That's it.

    順帶一提,用這種判斷方式 得出的最真實詞語是這個:

  • The realest word we have.

    【O.K.】

  • That is the closest thing we have to a master key.

    就是這個。

  • That's the most commonly understood word in the world,

    這就是我們最真實的詞語。

  • no matter where you are.

    這就是我們最熟悉、熟練的詞語。

  • The problem with that is,

    這就是世界上最簡單易懂的單詞,

  • no one seems to know what those two letters stand for.

    無論你來自哪裡。

  • (Laughter)

    問題是,

  • Which is kind of weird, right?

    似乎沒有人知道這兩個單詞字母 代表什麼意思。

  • I mean, it could be a misspelling of "all correct," I guess,

    (笑聲)

  • or "old kinderhook."

    這有一點不可思議,不是嗎?

  • No one really seems to know, but the fact that it doesn't matter

    我猜它可能是 「all correct」的錯誤拼寫,

  • says something about how we add meaning to words.

    或者是「old kinderhook」的 錯誤拼寫。

  • The meaning is not in the words themselves.

    似乎沒有人真的知道答案, 但這個無關緊要的事實

  • We're the ones that pour ourselves into it.

    說明了我們是如何給 詞語賦予含義的。

  • And I think, when we're all searching for meaning in our lives,

    詞語的含義不在於詞語本身。

  • and searching for the meaning of life,

    而是在於那個賦予詞語意義的人。

  • I think words have something to do with that.

    並且我覺得,

  • And I think if you're looking for the meaning of something,

    當我們都在尋找我們生命中的意義、

  • the dictionary is a decent place to start.

    尋找生活的意義時,

  • It brings a sense of order

    我覺得詞語和我們尋找的東西 有著千絲萬縷的關係。

  • to a very chaotic universe.

    而且我覺得如果 你在尋找某些東西的含義時,

  • Our view of things is so limited

    字典是一個開始尋找的好地方。

  • that we have to come up with patterns and shorthands

    字典為你打開了一扇

  • and try to figure out a way to interpret it

    通向混沌宇宙的門。

  • and be able to get on with our day.

    我們對事物的了解真的很有限,

  • We need words to contain us, to define ourselves.

    以至於我們不得不想出 用一些形態或者是速記的方式

  • I think a lot of us feel boxed in

    去嘗試尋找該詞語的解釋,

  • by how we use these words.

    如此才可以讓 我們的每一天繼續下去。

  • We forget that words are made up.

    我們需要詞語來蘊含我們自己, 來定義我們自己。

  • It's not just my words. All words are made up,

    我認為我們當中的許多人都感覺

  • but not all of them mean something.

    被我們所用的詞語給束縛住了。

  • We're all just sort of trapped in our own lexicons

    我們忘記了這些詞語 是被編造出來的。

  • that don't necessarily correlate with people who aren't already like us,

    不光光是我用的詞語。 所有的詞語都是編造出來的,

  • and so I think I feel us drifting apart a little more every year,

    但不是所有的詞語都含有意義的。

  • the more seriously we take words.

    我們只是都有點 被困在自己的詞典裡,

  • Because remember, words are not real.

    而我們的詞典與不同道人的詞典 沒有必然的關係,

  • They don't have meaning. We do.

    因此讓我感覺到 我們每一年越來越疏遠,

  • And I'd like to leave you with a reading

    我們對待詞語也越來越嚴肅認真。

  • from one of my favorite philosophers,

    但要記得,詞語不是真實的。

  • Bill Watterson, who created "Calvin and Hobbes."

    它們沒有任何的意義。 是我們賦予它意義。

  • He said,

    最後我想與各位分享一段

  • "Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul

    我最喜歡的其中一位哲學家 他的一句名言,

  • is a rare achievement.

    《凱文的幻虎世界》的作者, 比爾·沃特森,

  • To invent your own life's meaning

    他說,

  • is not easy,

    「創造一個能反映你價值 並且能使你靈魂滿足的生活

  • but it is still allowed,

    是一件了不起的成就。

  • and I think you'll be happier for the trouble."

    去創造你自己生活的意義

  • Thank you.

    不是一件簡單的事,

  • (Applause)

    但它仍值得你一試,

Today I want to talk about the meaning of words,

譯者: Bowen Cai 審譯者: 易帆 余

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A2 初級 中文 美國腔 TED 單詞 意義 定義 尋找 字典

【TED】約翰-柯尼格:用美麗的新詞來形容晦澀的情感(美麗的新詞來形容晦澀的情感|約翰-柯尼格)。 (【TED】John Koenig: Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions (Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions | John Koenig))

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