Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:43 and 3:43 a.m.

Still Lost in Translation

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Is "Don't worry, be happy!" an effective strategy for life?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

saying:  That may be a question for positive psychology. 

While traditional psychology focuses on dysfunction, positive psychology studies how people thrive.  But critics say the field depends on a very Western idea of happiness.

That's where positive psychologist Tim Lomas comes in.  He wanted to explore other cultures' ideas of well-being.  But where to begin?  Why, on the Internet, of course!  Online, he searched for positive concepts from other cultures that can't be translated into English very economically.

Like "mbuki-mvuki," a phrase from Bantu.  It means "to shuck off one's clothes in order to dance."  Good times!  Or "utepils," from Norwegian, which means "to drink beer outside on a hot day."  Delightful!

In all, Lomas found 216 words related to feelings, character traits, and relationships.  All pertained to well-being.  None had a perfect equivalent in English.

Now, I'd like to wrap up with pihentagu, but you likely don't speak Hungarian.  But believe me, Hungarians and I find this very very funny!  Now we will drink beer and dance!