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TEDxBerkeley

John Koenig: Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions

Džon Konig (John Koenig): Prelepe nove reči da se opišu nejasna osećanja

February 6, 2016

Džon Konig voli da pronalazi reči koje izražavaju naša neizrečena osećanja - poput "lachesism", gladi za katastrofom i "sonder", razumevanja da su svačiji životi podjednako složeni i neshvatljivi kao što je i naš. Ovim govorom razmatra značenja koja pripisujemo rečima, i kako se ta značenja vezuju za nas.

John Koenig - Writer
John Koenig is writing an original dictionary of made-up words. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
Today I want to talk
about the meaning of words,
Danas želim da govorim o značenju reči,
00:12
how we define them
kako ih definišemo
00:16
and how they, almost as revenge,
i kako one, skoro kao iz osvete,
00:17
define us.
definišu nas.
00:20
The English language
is a magnificent sponge.
Engleski jezik je veličanstven sunđer.
00:21
I love the English language.
I'm glad that I speak it.
Volim engleski jezik,
drago mi je što ga govorim.
00:24
But for all that, it has a lot of holes.
Ali uz sve to, ima mnogo praznina.
00:27
In Greek, there's a word, "lachesism"
U grčkom postoji reč "lachesism"
00:30
which is the hunger for disaster.
što znači žudnja za katastrofom.
00:32
You know, when you see
a thunderstorm on the horizon
Znate, kad vidite munju na horizontu
00:36
and you just find yourself
rooting for the storm.
i prosto se zateknete
kako navijate za munju.
00:40
In Mandarin, they have a word "yù yī" --
U mandarinskom imaju reč "yù yī" -
00:43
I'm not pronouncing that correctly --
ne izgovaram je tačno -
00:45
which means the longing
to feel intensely again
a to označava žudnju
da naš život ima intenzitet
00:47
the way you did when you were a kid.
koji je imao kad smo bili dete.
00:51
In Polish, they have a word "jouska"
U poljskom imaju reč "jouska"
00:55
which is the kind of
hypothetical conversation
a to je neki vid hipotetičkog razgovora
00:58
that you compulsively
play out in your head.
koji kompulsivno ponavljate u glavi.
01:02
And finally, in German,
of course in German,
I, naposletku, u nemačkom,
naravno u nemačkom,
01:06
they have a word called "zielschmerz"
imaju reč koja se naziva "zielschmerz"
01:09
which is the dread
of getting what you want.
a to je strah od dobijanja
onoga što želite.
01:12
(Laughter)
(Smeh)
01:15
Finally fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Konačnog ispunjenja celoživotnog sna.
01:19
I'm German myself,
so I know exactly what that feels like.
Ja sam Nemac, pa tačno znam
kakav je to osećaj.
01:23
Now, I'm not sure
if I would use any of these words
Sad, nisam siguran
da bih koristio bilo koju od ovih reči
01:26
as I go about my day,
u svojoj svakodnevici,
01:29
but I'm really glad they exist.
ali mi je zaista drago što postoje.
01:31
But the only reason they exist
is because I made them up.
Ali jedini razlog zašto postoje
je zato što sam ih ja izmislio.
01:33
I am the author of "The Dictionary
of Obscure Sorrows,"
Ja sam autor "Rečnika nejasnih tuga",
01:37
which I've been writing
for the last seven years.
koga sam pisao poslednjih sedam godina.
01:40
And the whole mission of the project
A čitava misija projekta
01:43
is to find holes
in the language of emotion
je da se pronađu praznine
u jeziku za osećanja
01:45
and try to fill them
i da ih pokušam popuniti
01:51
so that we have a way of talking
about all those human peccadilloes
kako bismo mogli da razgovaramo
o svim tim ljudskim sitnim gresima
01:52
and quirks of the human condition
i kapricima ljudskog stanja
01:56
that we all feel
but may not think to talk about
koje svi mi osećamo, ali možda
ne pomišljamo da govorimo o njima
01:58
because we don't have the words to do it.
jer nemamo reči za njih.
02:02
And about halfway through this project,
I otprilike na polovini ovog projekta
02:05
I defined "sonder,"
sam definisao "sonder",
02:07
the idea that we all think of ourselves
as the main character
zamisao da svi sebe smatramo
glavnim likom,
02:09
and everyone else is just extras.
a da su svi ostali samo statisti.
02:12
But in reality,
we're all the main character,
Međutim, u stvarnosti,
svi smo glavni likovi,
02:15
and you yourself are an extra
in someone else's story.
a vi sami ste statista u nečijoj priči.
02:18
And so as soon as I published that,
Te, čim sam to objavio,
02:22
I got a lot of response from people
dobio sam mnogo poruka od ljudi
02:26
saying, "Thank you for giving voice
to something I had felt all my life
govorili su: "Hvala što si dao glas
nečemu što sam osećao čitav život,
02:27
but there was no word for that."
ali nije postojala reč za to."
02:32
So it made them feel less alone.
Stoga su se osećali manje usamljeno.
02:35
That's the power of words,
To je snaga reči,
02:37
to make us feel less alone.
da se zbog njih osećamo manje usamljeno.
02:40
And it was not long after that
A nedugo potom
02:44
that I started to notice sonder
sam počeo da primećujem da se sonder
02:45
being used earnestly
in conversations online,
ozbiljno koristi
u razgovorima na internetu,
02:47
and not long after I actually noticed it,
a nedugo nakon što sam to
zapravo primetio,
02:52
I caught it next to me
in an actual conversation in person.
lično sam je čuo u stvarnom razgovoru
koji se vodio pored mene.
02:55
There is no stranger feeling
than making up a word
Nema čudnijeg osećaja
od toga kad izmislite reč
02:58
and then seeing it
take on a mind of its own.
i onda vidite kako se osamostaljuje.
03:01
I don't have a word
for that yet, but I will.
Još uvek nemam reč za to, ali imaću.
03:05
(Laughter)
(Smeh)
03:07
I'm working on it.
Radim na tome.
03:08
I started to think
about what makes words real,
Počeo sam da razmišljam
o tome šta čini reči stvarnim
03:11
because a lot of people ask me,
jer me mnogi ljudi pitaju,
03:15
the most common thing
I got from people is,
najčešće pitanje koje mi postavljaju je:
03:16
"Well, are these words made up?
I don't really understand."
"Pa, da li su ove reči izmišljene?
Ne razumem baš najbolje."
03:19
And I didn't really know what to tell them
I ja zaista ne znam šta da im kažem
03:22
because once sonder started to take off,
jer čim je sonder prhvaćena,
03:24
who am I to say what words
are real and what aren't.
ko sam ja da tvrdim
koje reči su stvarne, a koje nisu.
03:26
And so I sort of felt like Steve Jobs,
who described his epiphany
Pa sam se osećao nekako kao Stiv Džobs,
koji je opisao svoje otkrovenje
03:29
as when he realized that most of us,
as we go through the day,
kada je shvatio da većina nas,
dok se svakodnevno krećemo,
03:34
we just try to avoid
bouncing against the walls too much
prosto pokušavamo da izbegnemo
prečesto udaranje u zidove
03:37
and just sort of get on with things.
i prosto težimo da idemo dalje.
03:40
But once you realize that people --
Ali čim shvatite da ljudi -
03:43
that this world was built
by people no smarter than you,
da su ovaj svet sagradili ljudi
koji nisu pametniji od vas,
03:48
then you can reach out
and touch those walls
onda možete da posegnete
i dodirnete te zidove,
03:51
and even put your hand through them
čak i da provučete ruku kroz njih
03:54
and realize that you have
the power to change it.
i da shvatite da imate moć
da ih promenite.
03:55
And when people ask me,
"Are these words real?"
Kad me ljudi pitaju:
"Jesu li te reči stvarne?"
03:58
I had a variety of answers
that I tried out.
Imam niz odgovora koje sam iskušao.
04:02
Some of them made sense.
Some of them didn't.
Neki imaju smisla. Neki nemaju.
04:04
But one of them I tried out was,
Ali jedan od njih je glasio:
04:06
"Well, a word is real
if you want it to be real."
"Pa, reč je stvarna,
ako želite da bude stvarna."
04:08
The way that this path is real
because people wanted it to be there.
Razlog zašto je ova staza stvarna
je jer su ljudi želeli da bude tu.
04:12
(Laughter)
(Smeh)
04:16
It happens on college
campuses all the time.
To se stalno dešava
na kampusima fakulteta.
04:17
It's called a "desire path."
Naziva se "stazom žudnje".
04:20
(Laughter)
(Smeh)
04:21
But then I decided,
what people are really asking
Ali onda sam shvatio
da ljudi zaista pitaju,
04:22
when they're asking if a word is real,
they're really asking,
kad pitaju da li je reč stvarna,
zaista pitaju:
04:24
"Well, how many brains
will this give me access to?"
"Pa, kolikom broju mozgova
ću imati pristup ovom rečju?"
04:27
Because I think that's
a lot of how we look at language.
Zato što smatram
da tako uglavnom gledamo na jezik.
04:32
A word is essentially a key
Reč je u suštini ključ
04:35
that gets us into certain people's heads.
koji nas vodi u glave određenih ljudi.
04:38
And if it gets us into one brain,
A ako nas vodi u jedan mozak,
04:41
it's not really worth it,
zaista nije vredna truda,
04:44
not really worth knowing.
nije vredna da je znate.
04:46
Two brains, eh, it depends on who it is.
Dva mozga, eh, zavisi čiji su.
04:47
A million brains, OK, now we're talking.
Milion mozgova, u redu, sad se razumemo.
04:49
And so a real word is one that gets you
access to as many brains as you can.
Dakle, stvarna reč je ona koja vam daje
pristup što većem broju mozgova.
04:52
That's what makes it worth knowing.
To je ono što je čini vrednom znanja.
04:59
Incidentally, the realest word of all
by this measure is this.
Slučajno, najstvarnija reč od svih
prema ovom merenju je ova.
05:02
[O.K.]
[O.K.]
05:06
That's it.
To je to.
05:08
The realest word we have.
Najstvarnija reč koju imamo.
05:09
That is the closest thing we have
to a master key.
To je najbliže što imamo
univerzalnom ključu.
05:10
That's the most commonly
understood word in the world,
To je najrazumljivija reč na svetu,
05:13
no matter where you are.
bez obzira na to gde bili.
05:16
The problem with that is,
Problem s tim
05:17
no one seems to know
what those two letters stand for.
je što izgleda da niko ne zna
šta ta slova predstavljaju.
05:18
(Laughter)
(Smeh)
05:21
Which is kind of weird, right?
Što je nekako čudno, zar ne?
05:23
I mean, it could be a misspelling
of "all correct," I guess,
Mislim, mogla bi da bude
greška kod pisanja "all correct", valjda,
05:25
or "old kinderhook."
ili "old kinderhook."
05:29
No one really seems to know,
but the fact that it doesn't matter
Čini se da niko zaista ne zna,
ali činjenica da nije važno
05:30
says something about
how we add meaning to words.
govori nešto o tome
kako rečima dajemo smisao.
05:34
The meaning is not
in the words themselves.
Značenje nije u samim rečima.
05:37
We're the ones
that pour ourselves into it.
Mi smo ti koji se pretačemo u njih.
05:41
And I think, when we're all searching
for meaning in our lives,
I mislim kada svi mi tragamo
za smislom u našim životima
05:45
and searching for the meaning of life,
i kad tragamo za smislom života,
05:49
I think words have
something to do with that.
mislim da reči imaju neke veze s tim.
05:51
And I think if you're looking
for the meaning of something,
I mislim da ako tragate za smislom nečega,
05:55
the dictionary is a decent place to start.
rečnik je pristojno mesto za početak.
05:58
It brings a sense of order
Donosi utisak reda
06:01
to a very chaotic universe.
u veoma neurednom univerzumu.
06:03
Our view of things is so limited
Naše viđenje stvari je toliko ograničeno
06:06
that we have to come up
with patterns and shorthands
da moramo da izmislimo obrasce i prečice
06:09
and try to figure out
a way to interpret it
i da pokušamo da pronađemo
način da to protumačimo
06:12
and be able to get on with our day.
i budemo u stanju da nastavimo dan.
06:14
We need words to contain us,
to define ourselves.
Potrebne su nam reči da nas sadrže,
da nas definišu.
06:17
I think a lot of us feel boxed in
Mislim da se mnogi od nas
osećaju stešnjeno
06:21
by how we use these words.
zbog toga kako koristimo reči.
06:24
We forget that words are made up.
Zaboravljamo da su reči izmišljene.
06:25
It's not just my words.
All words are made up,
Ne samo moje reči, sve reči su izmišljene,
06:28
but not all of them mean something.
ali sve one ne znače nešto.
06:31
We're all just sort of
trapped in our own lexicons
Svi smo mi na neki način
zarobljeni u našim ličnim leksikonima
06:33
that don't necessarily correlate
with people who aren't already like us,
koji se nužno ne poklapaju
sa ljudima koji već nisu kao mi
06:37
and so I think I feel us drifting apart
a little more every year,
i zato imam utisak da se udaljavamo
svake godine sve više,
06:42
the more seriously we take words.
što ozbiljnije shvatamo reči.
06:47
Because remember, words are not real.
Jer, setite se, reči nisu stvarne.
06:51
They don't have meaning. We do.
Nemaju značenje. Mi imamo.
06:55
And I'd like to leave you with a reading
I želeo bih da završim čitanjem
06:58
from one of my favorite philosophers,
jednog od mojih omiljenih filozofa,
07:01
Bill Watterson, who created
"Calvin and Hobbes."
Bila Votersona, koji je stvorio
"Kalvina i Hobsa."
07:04
He said,
Rekao je:
07:06
"Creating a life that reflects
your values and satisfies your soul
"Stvoriti život koji odražava
vaše vrednosti i prija vašoj duši
07:08
is a rare achievement.
je nesvakidašnji uspeh.
07:12
To invent your own life's meaning
Pronaći smisao sopstvenog života
07:14
is not easy,
nije lako,
07:16
but it is still allowed,
ali je i dalje dozvoljeno
07:18
and I think you'll be
happier for the trouble."
i mislim da ćete
zbog truda biti srećniji."
07:20
Thank you.
Hvala vam.
07:23
(Applause)
(Aplauz)
07:24
Translator:Milenka Okuka
Reviewer:Mile Živković

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John Koenig - Writer
John Koenig is writing an original dictionary of made-up words.

Why you should listen

John Koenig has spent the last seven years writing an original dictionary of made-up words, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which fills gaps in the language with hundreds of new terms for emotions. This project seeks to restore sadness to its original meaning (from Latin satis, "fullness") by defining moments of melancholy that we may all feel, but never think to mention -- deepening our understanding of each other by broadening the emotional palette, from avenoir, "the desire to see memories in advance," to zenosyne, "the sense that time keeps going faster."

Each entry is a collage of word roots borrowed from languages all around the world. Some entries are even beginning to enter the language outright:

sonder n. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own -- populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness -- an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you'll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

His original YouTube series, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which he writes, edits and narrates himself, has drawn acclaim from John Green and Beyoncé to Michael from Vsauce. "Each episode is a soothing meditation on its subject, fortified by a hypnotic soundtrack and Koenig’s twistingly intelligent narration," writes The Daily Dot.

He currently works as a freelance video editor, voice actor, graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, director and writer. His writing has been published in countless tattoos, stories, song titles and band names, but never on paper -- though he is currently working on publishing a book adaptation. Originally from Minnesota and Geneva, Switzerland, John lives in Budapest with his wife.

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