【Ted Talks】独自の辞書を開発する男性。言葉を学ぶ価値とは?


今回はTed Talksで英語学習をしながら知恵をつけましょう。テーマは「不明瞭な感情を表す美しい単語」。言葉は完全に感情を網羅できていません。ある感情を受けても、言葉にできなかった経験は誰しもあるのではないでしょうか?そんな不明瞭な感情に単語を与えた人物のプレゼン”John Koenig:Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions”で英語学習をしましょう。


Today I want to talk about the meaning of words, how we define them and how they, almost as revenge, define us.

meaning – 意味
define – 定義する
revenge – 復讐する


The English language is a magnificent sponge. I love the English language. I'm glad that I speak it.But for all that, it has a lot of holes. In Greek, there's a word, "lachesism" which is the hunger for disaster. You know, when you see a thunderstorm on the horizon and you just find yourself rooting for the storm. In Mandarin, they have a word "yù yī" -- I'm not pronouncing that correctly -- which means the longing to feel intensely again the way you did when you were a kid. In Polish, they have a word "jouska" which is the kind of hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.And finally, in German, of course in German, they have a word called "zielschmerz" which is the dread of getting what you want.

magnificent – 素晴らしい
hunger – 渇望
disaster – 災害
root – 落ち着く
long – 求める、欲しがる
intensely – 無性に、強烈に
dread – 恐れ

英語はスポンジのような言語です。私は英語が大好きで、英語が話せることをとても光栄に思います。しかし英語にも、数多くの穴があるのです。ギリシャ語には、”lachesism”という単語があります。これは 災害に対する渇望を意味します。ほら 、水平線に雷雲を見ると、嵐を応援したくなりますよね。中国語には、yù yīという単語があります。私は正しく発音できないのですが、これは子供の頃に感じた懐かしい記憶を強く望む気持ちのことです。ポーランド語にはjouskaという単語があります。これは頭の中で行われている会話のことを意味します。そしてドイツ語。ドイツ語にはzielschmerzという単語があり、欲しいものが手に入る恐れを表現します。

Finally fulfilling a lifelong dream. I'm German myself, so I know exactly what that feels like.

fulfill – 果たす
lifelong – 一生の



Now, I'm not sure if I would use any of these words as I go about my day, but I'm really glad they exist. But the only reason they exist is because I made them up.

exist – 存在する
make up – 作り上げる、でっちあげる


I am the author of "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows," which I've been writing for the last seven years. And the whole mission of the project is to find holes in the language of emotion and try to fill them so that we have a way of talking about all those human peccadilloes and quirks of the human condition that we all feel but may not think to talk about because we don't have the words to do it.

author - 著者
obscure – 曖昧な、不明瞭な
quirk – 風変わり



And about halfway through this project, I defined "sonder," the idea that we all think of ourselves as the main character and everyone else is just extras. But in reality, we're all the main character, and you yourself are an extra in someone else's story. And so as soon as I published that, I got a lot of response from people saying, "Thank you for giving voice to something I had felt all my life but there was no word for that." So it made them feel less alone. That's the power of words, to make us feel less alone.

halfway -途中で
publish – 公表する
response – 返答


And it was not long after that that I started to notice sonder being used earnestly in conversations online, and not long after I actually noticed it, I caught it next to me in an actual conversation in person. There is no stranger feeling than making up a word and then seeing it take on a mind of its own. I don't have a word for that yet, but I will.
I'm working on it.

earnestly – 真剣に
actual – 実際の
work on -取りかかっている




But then I decided, what people are really asking when they're asking if a word is real, they're really asking, "Well, how many brains will this give me access to?" Because I think that's a lot of how we look at language. A word is essentially a key that gets us into certain people's heads. And if it gets us into one brain, it's not really worth it, not really worth knowing. Two brains, eh, it depends on who it is.A million brains, OK, now we're talking. And so a real word is one that gets you access to as many brains as you can. That's what makes it worth knowing.

decide – 決める
access – アクセスする
essentially – 本質的に
certain – 特定の
worth – ~する価値がある

しかし私はある一つのことに気づいたのです。人々が「この単語は本物か?」と聞いた時、彼らが知りたいのは単語が本物かどうかではなく、この単語が実際に人々に伝わるのかどうかということ。私たちは言語をこのように見ているのです。ある単語は本質的に、特定の人々の頭の中に入り込むできる鍵のようなもの。一人にしか伝わらないのならば、その単語を学ぶ価値はないでしょう。 二人に伝わるのならば、その単語を学ぶ価値があるかどうかは、人によります。100万人に伝わるのならば、その単語を学ぶ価値はあります。本物の言葉とは、可能な限り多くの人々に通じる言葉こと。だからこそ単語を学ぶ価値があります。