Bralich re Schadenfreude

Bert Peeters Bert.Peeters at MODLANG.UTAS.EDU.AU
Tue May 6 23:46:17 UTC 1997

At 11:21 AM 6/05/97 -1000, Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D. wrote:

>What interests me is the fact that all languages can express the
>same concepts, but in some cases they choose to do it in one
>word while in others they require a phrase or a sentence.  For
>things that are not commonly present in one culture this is natural
>enough, but for something like Schadenfreude, which is present in
>every culture, why do some handle it in one word and others in a phrase.

But that's exactly the point... What makes you think that "something like
Schadenfreude" must exist in every culture of the world? There are those
cultures which give it a prominent place and they've got a word for it;
there are those where it plays a lesser role and they need a paraphrase.
Why assume a priori that there aren't any where it plays no role at all
or is even inconceivable - which then means that it becomes extremely
difficult to refer to the concept by means of language at all?

Bert Peeters

Dr Bert Peeters - Department of English and European Languages and Literatures
University of Tasmania, GPO Box 252-82, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
Tel.: +61 (0)3 6226 2344 / Fax.: +61 (0)3 6226 7631
E-mail: Bert.Peeters at

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