Gesamtzahl der Seitenaufrufe

Dienstag, 23. August 2016

'Treppenwitz' und 'Sehnsucht'

Notizbuch 'Übersetzen':

"Take the German noun Treppenwitz, which literally means ‘staircase wit’: that all too common phenomenon of a witty rejoinder that comes to mind just after an interaction! Secondly, there are words I think I’m familiar with, but which still leave me intrigued, as if their full meaning and significance elude me. Frisson is a good example. So too are a batch of Scandinavian adjectives that roughly translate as ‘cosy’ – such as hyggelig and koselig – but which are extolled as conveying an almost existential sense of warmth and security. Likewise the mysterious German term Sehnsucht, which evokes an ambivalent, bittersweet sense of ‘life-longings.’ That said, we do find attempts to render such terms more comprehensible. Indeed, Sehnsucht is one of the few on the list to have been analysed empirically, in the form of a psychometric scale created by Susanne Scheibe and colleagues; factor analysis suggested the construct comprises six core characteristics, including utopian perspectives, a sense of the incompleteness of life, and high levels of self-reflection. It is my hope that this project will stimulate a research agenda where all words on the list are eventually afforded this kind of treatment. (