7 Emotions That Can’t Be Explained in English

Sometimes we experience those moments where we can’t define our emotions. Mark R. Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, explains this phenomenon in an article in Psychology Today:

Emotions have motivational consequences. They tell us what to do. If you can’t tell what you’re feeling, then it’s a lot more puzzling to know how you should react: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I don’t know whether to approach you or avoid you.

However, some of those emotions that we don’t know how to put in English might be able to be described in other languages. In the article published in The Huffington Post, the author, Lynn Daue, provides 7 examples, which include:

1. Memento mori
A Latin phrase meaning “to remember [that you have] to die,” memento morimanifests itself as the dawning acceptance that, in the grand scheme of things, your life is a blip. The victories, the defeats, the anger and stress, the happiness and relaxation — all of it is a blink in the history of time.

2. Vardøgr
From Norwegian, vardøgr is a “premonitory sound or sight of a person before he or she arrives.” The closest English equivalent is premonition, although that relates more to events rather than sight or sound.

3. Schadenfreude
Likely the most recognizable on this list, schadenfreude is the German word for deriving pleasure from someone else’s pain or misfortune. You may find yourself experiencing schadenfreude when karma finally catches up to someone. For instance, if your nasty, boot-licking co-worker tries to get you fired and ends up losing his job, that ping of glee you experience is schadenfreude.

For more information, visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lynn-daue/7-emotions-that-cant-be-e_b_9576174.html

Image Source: Pixabay.com. CC0 Public Domain license. By Erika Wittlieb.


About Soomin Kim 14 Articles
Soomin is a Composition major from Seoul, Korea and the rest of her family lives in the Philippines. She speaks English and Japanese (but no kanji), and is studying Spanish. She loves learning new languages because she believes that language is the most powerful way to understand and explore the culture. She enjoys traveling with her friends during vacations, which makes her spend all the money she has saved for a semester. In her free time, Soomin likes to collect vintage clothes, watch movies and Korean TV shows, listen to music, and read books.

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