MARK DE VOS
mdevos at CIS.CO.ZA
Wed May 7 04:55:49 UTC 1997
>Ron, although English lacks the single lexical item, it seems to me
>the adjective "bittersweet" (as in "bittersweet pleasure") comes
>to what you're looking for.
Forgive me if I'm barking up the wrong tree here. Just ascribe it to
my ignorance and kindly point out the correct tree to scrape at
Once upon a time, I received a lecture about the empiricist's
dilema: exactly What classifies as a phenomenon and what
Is it relevant that one language uses a single word to describe
something, whilst other languages use phrases and yet another
may use idioms etc. After all, they all refer to (and are able to
express) a single mental response (in this case, Schadenfreude,
perverse pleasure or what have you)
Surely all the following phenomena could be classified as one and
Schadenfreude (our old pal) a single, compound word. Note
however, that if the great die of fate had rolled otherwise,
typographic convention in German might have rendered this as two
words or at least hyphenated
AND RELATED LANGUAGES?
And do words from Dutch, Old-English, Swedish and other
Germanic languages carry the same weight? Are they really
"translations" or is it merely a case of slightly different form? After
all they are related!
CLAUSES AND PHRASES IN INFLECTED LANGUAGE
[snipped from a contributor to this list]...
In Bulgarian ZLORADSTVO (noun), nominalization from ZLORAD
(adj),litterally "with bad joy", compound from ZLO 'bad' (adjective or
adverb) +RADvam se 'to enjoy' (reflexive verb).
Although this example is a single word (and thus empirically
relevant?) it is inflected and thus contains a lot more syntactic info
than a single morpheme. In fact, one could reasonably say that this
"single" word is the equivalent of
CLAUSES AND PHRASES IN NON-INFLECTED LANGUAGES
such as "rejoicing in another's misfortune" or "getting one's just
deserts" or even "ja, ja I told you so" in English.
My point is this: this entire discussion has been conducted in
English with some understanding and some misunderstanding on
all sides. But the very fact that it is possible to speak about and
discuss the subject and even to provide useable translations of
"Schadenfreude" proves that equivalents ARE available! (even
though they may not all be "single" words.
If you really want to find equivalents for "Schadenfreude" take a
look at what people have written on this list: Anyway, the original
posting did ask for "expressions" and not single lexical items.
Here are your equivalents:
> The pleasure is not about the other's misfortune
> as such, but lies in some sense of satisfaction one get's out of it; it
> "I've told you so"
> or "You wouldn't listen" o
> "This serves
> you right".
> [pleasure in others getting]
> their comeuppance
> just desserts
> [pleasure in others receiving]
> condign punishment
> pain at other people's joy?
There have been lots others....
So tell me, is this the tree?
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.
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