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PROYECTO “LAS PALABRAS INTRADUCIBLES”

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Investigation in Emotion Classification

This is the early stage research of the project. In late January, 2012, I emailed around Royal College of Art asking for words describing emotions in languages other than English that are untranslatable into English. Interesting enough, in order to understand the untranslatable words I had to have several correspondence with the person who contributed the word, and through this back-and-forth discussion can I actually get the glimpse of the emotion itself. These explanation of the untranslatable words are often in the format of “it is a kind of (emotion A), close to (emotion B), and somehow between (emotion C) and (emotion D).” This triggers me to map out the emotions based on the classification of emotions provided in Shaver et al. – “Emotion Knowledge – Futher Exploration of a Prototype Approach.” in the book Emotions in Social Psychology by W. Parrott (2001). Which I intented to visualised the untranslatable words as chemical molecules that reacts with the emotion “nodes” to the fact that untranslatable words are often complicated emotions that are the mixture of other translatable emotions.

Notices

2013/01/23

The first part of the project: Part 1 – The Untranslatable Words has been featured in several media including Visua.ly, io9, The Globe and Mail, The Atlantic, PopSci, and Salon, as well as BBC Radio Global Service. Thank you for all the support.

There were also many requests for the prints of the visualizations in Part 1 – The Untranslatable Words. Good news that there will be prints for sale if you want high quality prints. Bad news is that it will take a while. So please drop me a line if you would like to have prints. It will be available internationally. Meanwhile, for recognizing all the helps I have got for this project, I feel there is an obligation to make it available to whoever find the visualization helpful. So the infographics will be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. I will be very happy to know how they are being put to use.

[ Errata ]
Corrections to the Estonian word “Viitsima”, it should be “ei viitsi” as “can’t be bothered”. My apologies to all the Estonian speakers.


Parrott’s Classification of Human Emotions (Click to see full-resolution)
Creative Commons License
Parrott’s Classification of Human Emotions by Pei-Ying Lin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Untranslatable Words in Languages other than English, v.s. Parrott’s Classification (Click to see full-resolution)
Creative Commons License
Untranslatable Words in Languages other than English, v.s. Parrott’s Classification by Pei-Ying Lin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


New emotions invented by the Internet (Click to see full-resolution)
Creative Commons License
New emotions invented by the Internet by Pei-Ying Lin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The Untranslatable Words

The Untranslatable Words Database is a collection of videos which people were asked to explain the untranslatable words in their native language with that lanaguage to the imaginary audience who doesn’t understand the language. It is an attempt to capture the essense of the emotion-related words in different languages through voice, body language, and facial expressions.


The Untranslatable Words Database (Click to enter)

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10 comentarios

  1. piracetam dice:

    So while the exact word “saudades” might not exist (and, in fact, I’d argue that that in and of itself is somewhat false, because I can’t think of a use of “saudades” which can’t be adequately glossed by “to long for” or “longing”), the range of emotions covered by the word certainly do exist in the U.S. and are quite easily and adequately expressable.

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  2. This is the early stage research of the project. In late January, 2012, I emailed around Royal College of Art asking for words describing emotions in languages other than English that are untranslatable into English. Interesting enough, in order to understand the untranslatable words I had to have several correspondence with the person who contributed the word, and through this back-and-forth discussion can I actually get the glimpse of the emotion itself. These explanation of the untranslatable words are often in the format of “it is a kind of (emotion A), close to (emotion B), and somehow between (emotion C) and (emotion D).” This triggers me to map out the emotions based on the classification of emotions provided in Shaver et al. – “Emotion Knowledge – Futher Exploration of a Prototype Approach.” in the book Emotions in Social Psychology by W. Parrott (2001). Which I intented to visualised the untranslatable words as chemical molecules that reacts with the emotion “nodes” to the fact that untranslatable words are often complicated emotions that are the mixture of other translatable emotions.

    Me gusta

  3. These questions may pose challenges to the prevailing pedagogical models employed in introductory rhetoric classes, which tend to be organized around the “common ground” model of civic or “civil” discourse. As I have suggested elsewhere , while this model is desirable for many reasons, it may also be challenged by the uncivil or unethical modes of persuasion with which we are often confronted in the public and/or private sphere, including, for example, propaganda. In other words, when the “common ground” model privileges or presumes arguments made in “good faith,” it may do a disservice to students, who will frequently be confronted by arguments made in “bad faith,” that is, arguments that do not adhere to some presumed or assumed notion of what constitutes “good argument” in the public sphere.

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  4. This element being the mind. Think about it: in Kingdom Hearts, the heart represents the emotions and feelings of a person, the body represents the physical existence of a person, while the soul is said to represent life itself, hence Heartless (corrupted hearts), Nobodies (discarded shells), and Unversed (supposedly souls that never came into physical being). Notice that none of them incorporate the rational mind in them, the sense of individuality and free will that all people have. That’s the missing element; the mind controls cognitive thought and the ability to express one’s individuality and make decisions that will affect their lives. It’s both a representative of free will and morality, and without it, the rest of the elements of a being are thrown into chaos. As such, I predict that a future installment of the game will explore this, with the real Ansem the Wise as the villain; after his death in Kingdom Hearts, his being was split up into its individual components, his disembodied mind taking control of the other parts and going on a quest to destroy Kingdom Hearts to ensure his and Xehanort’s mistake doesn’t get repeated by anyone else.

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  5. idebenone dice:

    So while the exact word “saudades” might not exist (and, in fact, I’d argue that that in and of itself is somewhat false, because I can’t think of a use of “saudades” which can’t be adequately glossed by “to long for” or “longing”), the range of emotions covered by the word certainly do exist in the U.S. and are quite easily and adequately expressable.

    Me gusta

  6. I’ve always seen a minor parallel between a reader and a concert musician — a pianist for example — just in the sense that both are taking notations written by someone else and bringing them to life. In both cases, the work of art as it exists on paper is mediated by someone else. A reader may follow the cues of the author, she may give every word her full attention, her emotions may stir in exactly the way they were intended to — but the images and voice she creates in her mind are hers. But they are not only hers — they are a collaboration between her and the writer. Alone among the arts, reading/writing involves mingling the thoughts of the artist and the audience. In a way, reading is itself a performance.

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  7. Lanny Waters dice:

    This is the early stage research of the project. In late January, 2012, I emailed around Royal College of Art asking for words describing emotions in languages other than English that are untranslatable into English. Interesting enough, in order to understand the untranslatable words I had to have several correspondence with the person who contributed the word, and through this back-and-forth discussion can I actually get the glimpse of the emotion itself. These explanation of the untranslatable words are often in the format of “it is a kind of (emotion A), close to (emotion B), and somehow between (emotion C) and (emotion D).” This triggers me to map out the emotions based on the classification of emotions provided in Shaver et al. – “Emotion Knowledge – Futher Exploration of a Prototype Approach.” in the book Emotions in Social Psychology by W. Parrott (2001). Which I intented to visualised the untranslatable words as chemical molecules that reacts with the emotion “nodes” to the fact that untranslatable words are often complicated emotions that are the mixture of other translatable emotions.

    Me gusta

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