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compassion

 
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[quote]
All languages that derive from Latin form the word "compassion" by combining the prefix meaning "with" (corn-) and the root meaning "suffering" (Late Latin, passio). In other languages—Czech, Polish, German, and Swedish, for instance— this word is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefix combined with the word that means "feeling" (Czech, sou-cit; Polish, wspol-czucie; German, Mit-gefuhl; Swedish, med-kansia).
In languages that derive from Latin, "compassion" means: we cannot look on coolly as others suffer; or, we sympathize with those who suffer. Another word with approximately the same meaning, "pity" (French, pitie; Italian, pieta; etc.), con´┐Żnotes a certain condescension towards the sufferer. "To take pity on a woman" means that we are better off than she, that we stoop to her level, lower ourselves.
That is why the word "compassion" generally inspires suspicion; it designates what is considered an inferior, second-rate sentiment that has little to do with love. To love someone out of compassion means not really to love.
In languages that form the word "compassion" not from the root "suffering" but from the root "feeling," the word is used in approximately the same way, but to contend that it designates a bad or inferior sentiment is difficult. The secret strength of its etymology floods the word with another light and gives it a broader meaning: to have compassion (co-feeling) means not only to be able to live with the other's misfortune but also to feel with him any emotion—joy, anxiety, happiness, pain. This kind of compassion (in the sense of souc/r, wspofczucie, Mitgefuhl, medkansia) therefore signifies the maximal capacity of affective imagination, the art of emotional telepathy. In the hierarchy of sentiments, then, it is supreme.
[/quote]
Milan Kundera. The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Translated from the Czech by Michael Henry Heim
 
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GWB and his campaign slogan of "Compassionate Conservatism" comes to mind.
 
whippersnapper
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I have, a number of times, in English, purposely drawn a distinction between "compassion" and "sympathy," indicating that I may feel compassion towards a person (or a situation they've found themself in) but *not* sympathy.
Here's what I mean. If I tell someone I have compassion for them, I mean that I feel bad that they feel bad or are suffering. If I tell someone I have sympathy for them, I not only have compassion for them, but I also share in their belief that they've been wronged.
Others may or may not agree such a distinction exists.
And as you can imagine, telling someone "I feel bad for you, but I don't think you've been wronged" (implying that the person is likely at fault) goes over *very well*. :roll:
 
Michael Matola
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Russian:
compassion -- zhalenie
sympathy -- sochuvstvie
?
[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Matola ]
 
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Originally posted by Michael Matola:
[QB]Russian:
compassion -- zhalenie
sympathy -- sochuvstvie
?
To further confuse the issue:
1) so ("with") + chustvie ("feeling") = "sochustvie" = both "sympathy" and "empathy"
2) so ("with") + stradanie ("suffering") = "sostradanie" = "compassion"
Of course, this is all very debatable...

 
Mapraputa Is
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Here is an interesting discussion about Russian word "galet'" =to have pity, which in past was used as a synonym of "to love".
 
buckaroo
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Went there. ...
Yo Map! You are hard enough to keep up with in English
[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: Donald R. Cossitt ]
 
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Donald if you ae feeling left out, there's always Babylon which came some indication of what the first post is about.. Keywords are usually in the title. "Women/female/spouse feel sorry for you".
Babel fishing the rest :
4, alas, taught English not in the living contact with the carriers of language, but reading texts with the dictionary. Because of this me they frequently attend doubts with the use of the words, which relate to the emotional sphere. Here, for example, this simple Russian word to feel sorry. The brothers of our of smaller, good-for-nothing husband, child, that so in the school it is overloaded. And so forth. Like there are equivalents (sympathize, pity), but there is no confidence, that this precisely that that vyrazhet the Russian "pity" here in such here contexts. Here 4 I think, and as correct to run the test, which proves that this precisely that which is necessary. It is possible to take, of course, the Russian text, translated by absolute bilingvom, and to verify, as it transferred. Well and if there is only many English and Russians it is text, not being been the transfers of each other?

- living contact with carriers of language as though it were a disease
regards
 
Donald R. Cossitt
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- living contact with carriers of language as though it were a disease


HS: no slam intended. I enjoy trying to keep up with Map - tough for a country boy who has never been outside of the states. I don't always understand where she is coming from or agree with some that I do - but I am addicted to her spunk!
 
Mapraputa Is
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DC: tough for a country boy who has never been outside of the states. I don't always understand where she is coming from

Ok. But why you don't ask?
 
HS Thomas
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Obviously lots has been lost in translation. Translating thoughts from one classic writer/reader to another classsic writer/reader is difficult enough in the same language, let alone two or more languages.
English and French translations are done well by Babel; German to English too. I haven't tried German from/to Latin from/to Russian. That may give a better translation .Maybe that's what these translators are doing, but doing badly.
Back to compassion.
regards
 
Donald R. Cossitt
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It is best to be silent and thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.
(Abraham Lincoln)


I violate this truism much more than I care to admit on things that I think I understand - I don't enjoy it.
[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: Donald R. Cossitt ]
 
HS Thomas
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Everyone is foolish for at least half of every day. To be wise is to know when the limits of foolishness have been reached. The wise know when to go and sit on the kerb and applaud. (Quit while you are ahead.)
There is no right to War. All that remains are the left.
A combination of several quotes. (I didn't know which one to pick).
regards
 
Mapraputa Is
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It's all my fault, I forgot to add that the discussion is in Russian. Did not think anybody but Russians would bother to click.
 
Donald R. Cossitt
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It's all my fault, I forgot to add that the discussion is in Russian. Did not think anybody but Russians would bother to click.


I forgot that one of the things about you that intrigues me is - you're Russian. I should have expected it?
Which is a point that I often need to remind myself of: this forum is an international community. Which is prooving to be an eye (mind) opener for this country boy! I am delighted to discover that I am learning far more than JAVA on this site. (Which is why, Map, I don't ask a lot of questions: my level of intelect pales by comparison to most who frequent this site. I am both delighted and humbled)


Such a deal
(from a past American TV personality portraying a Russian)


[ October 28, 2003: Message edited by: Donald R. Cossitt ]
 
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