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Is the center of emotions and personality in your language localized in \'heart\' or elsewhere?
Thread poster: Katia Soshynska
Katia Soshynska
Local time: 22:20
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Dec 9, 2002

In my diploma work I\'m comparing the concept of \'heart\' as the center of emotions, thinking, personality and the inner life as a whole in the English and Ukrainian languages. I\'ve alredy found out that in the Chinese language the center of emotions is bound to kidneys. In African - to liver and nose. In Arabic, to please somebody is (literally) \'to cool sb\'s heart\', while in English and Ukrainian the same meaning is expressed by \'to warm sb\'s heart\'. This difference is connected with the geographical factor.

If the center of emotions in your language is localized in a part different from the \'heart\' or if there are some interesting points of usage of the concept \'heart\' in your language, please, write it in your reply. I\'ll be very grateful for your information.

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xxxCHENOUMI  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
In Haitian Creole, the heart, yes. Dec 9, 2002

In Haitian Creole, the heart is the center of all emotions and mood.

For instance:

Kè sere = anxiety (like in a premonitory fashion)

Kè kase = apprehension, also some anxiety

Kè grenn = jealousy

Kè poze = serenity

Kè kontan = happiness

Kè pòpòz = nonchalance, casualness (can also be very provocative on the part of children for example. > Describes an attitude where a person naturally or deliberately takes his/her time to do something OR is completely unaffected by what\'s going on...)

... and a host of other idiomatic expressions which don\'t occur to me now.

*You have guessed it, \"kè\" is heart.

\"e\" is pronounced like \'é\' or like in \'benefactor\'.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-09 18:36 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-09 19:41 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-09 21:32 ]

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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
The heart also for Spanish Dec 9, 2002

In Spanish the heart is also considered the center of positive emotions. Spanish is similar to English in that a person who is generous, giving, and kind, is said to have a good / great heart (\"tiene buen / un gran corazón\"). A person who is instead analytic or shows little emotion is said to be \"cerebral\" (\"cerebral\" in Spanish also, pronounced with the \"e\'s\" as in \"elephant\").

Other human feelings are associated with other organs. A person who does not feel repulsion toward certain sights or smells, for example, is said to have \"un estómago a toda prueba\" (a strong stomach; e.g. homicide policemen). This description also applies to people who can put up with long-term situations that would be intolerable to most.

Unpleasant news are described as being \"a kick to the liver\" (una patada al hígado).

The list continues, but I think you were interested in positive emotions...

Good luck with your thesis!


[ This Message was edited by: Elena Sgarbossa on 2003-03-24 01:39]

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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
English to Hindi
+ ...
Heart also in Gujarati and Hindi Dec 10, 2002

Hello from India....

Even in Gujarati and Hindi, things are in one\'s heart. \'Aaj dil bagh bagh ho gaya\' [literally:: today, my heart\'s become like a garden.] to convey one\'s immense happiness.

We even have romantic movies called \'Dil se\': from on\'e heart.


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Andrei Albu  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:20
Member (2002)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Romanian: Heart and, equally, Soul Dec 10, 2002

Speaking of bodily parts, yes in Romanian HEART is the centre of emotions. But SOUL (Latin: anima) is equally used in a wide variety of expressions pertaining to the same.


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-10 11:52 ]

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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Polish: same as Romanian Dec 10, 2002

I was going to say about Polish what Andrei said about Romanian. In addition to the soul (several soul expressions are translated into English with the use of \"heart\") we also have the \"spirit\" which can also be translated into English as \"heart\" in some expressions.

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Arthur Borges
Local time: 03:20
+ ...
Heart vs. Kidneys Dec 23, 2002

This is mix \'n\' match answer. The Hindu and Buddhist traditions speak of the \"heart\" as the seat of love because it is the most important chakra (or \"shakra\"), i.e. an \"energy valve\" that connects you to others and through which compassion is received/expressed, thereby leading you towards Enlightenment.

On the kidneys, I only know of an Western-trained nurse in Algeria whose husband was on dialysis. One day he dropped a real blooper in the conversation and she shot back at him \"You\'ve got kidney problems because you\'ve had too many mistresses.\"

Make of this what you will.

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:20
English to Turkish
Hearts in Turkish Mar 16, 2003


A bit late, though, but I find the subject interesting.

Heart seems to be a universal seat of emotions, especially of love, for obvious reasons (baby\'s feeling of security associated with mother\'s heartbeat, etc.) The usage in Turkish language is no exception to this. However, there is another situation in Turkish which may be interesting with regard to your research.

In Turkish there are three words for heart, each used in different contexts and is associated with different emotions, or states of mind:

Kalp, has the broadest usage: It is the anatomical name of the organ, and figuratively covers almost all senses related to love etc. When one has a heart disease, it is the \"kalp\" that\'s affected; when one\'s feelings are hurt, it is the \"kalp\" that\'s broken; when one is in love, \"kalp\" is again the scene of the incident, etc.

Gönül, has an exclusively figurative usage. It is the word to be chosen in Turkish when one talks about the \"matters of the heart\".

But also there\'s a richness of expression with \"gönül\", which may not always be related to romance:

Gönül almak=to appease

Gönül rahatlýðý=a clear conscience (might be ironic, though, in many cases)

Gönül borcu=a feeling of gratitude

Gönül koymak=to feel offended

and finally \"gönüllü\" (where the suffix \"-lü\" is for \"with\") means \"volunteer\"

The third word is \"yürek\" which I find most interesting in terms of usage, because when the internal organ heart (that of an animal, naturally takes the form of a food, this word is used. One never eats a \"kalp\" but eats \"yürek\". And although it has a few others, the dominant figurative usage of the word \"yürek\" is the one connected with such notions as \"courage\" and \"audacity\". It also takes the form of a verb to mean \"encouragement\". This may suggest a link to the ancient traditions where manlihood is associated with the consumption of red meat, and hence with hunting skills.

I hope the above can add yet another flavor to your research. Greetings


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Marta Argat  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:20
Chinese to Ukrainian
+ ...
"five viscera"; phylosophy vs. language habit Mar 18, 2003

Chinese traditional medicine binds five most important organs to five emotions:

liver - anger

kidney - fear

heart - joy...

The Buddhist perception of a heart has been mentioned above by Arthur Borges.

Those are philosophical conceptions.

On the \"pure language level\" there are a lot of connections between a heart and feelings. A lot of characters meaning emotions or an attitude contain a radical \"heart\" in them. And a word \"heart\" is often present in idioms, like lit. \"uneven in [one\'s] heart\".

However, not only a heart. One of the many ways to say \"to be angry\" is lit. \"produce spleen\"! And try to guess what does it mean \"there is nothing in one\'s stomach\"? The right answer is \"he...knows nothing\"!

[ This Message was edited by: Marta Argat on 2003-03-19 12:32]

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