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Picture of Kalleh
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In the NY Times, a German writer, Anna Sauerbrey, sees Menschenverachtung as being unique to German. I know - we can use a number of words to define it. Still, does anyone know a word like this in another language?

quote:
But regarding the refugees as an anonymous, threatening mass also bears the nucleus of “Menschenverachtung,” meaning roughly “contempt for humankind,” a word that is unique to the German language and a discipline of thought this country has excelled at in the past — and not only under the Nazi regime.
 
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Misanthropy?
 
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Mensch is "person" and verachten is "despise"
 
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Surely misanthopy is very close (disdain or dislike as opposed to contempt). Good call, Goofy.

I've always thought Mensch, at least in Yiddish, meant a person of integrity or honor, and not just a person.
 
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In German it means person or human.

It's from the same Proto-Germanic word as mannish.
 
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There are a lot of online Yiddish dictionaries, but here is the one in Wikipedia :
quote:
an upright man or woman; a gentleman; a decent human being (from Yiddish מענטש mentsh 'person' and German Mensch: human being) the generic term for a virtuous man or person; one with honesty, integrity, loyalty, firmness of purpose: a fundamental sense of decency and respect for other people (from German Mensch, meaning human being).
Apparently in Yiddish it took on a slightly different meaning.
 
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I think that some US of Americans such as poet Robert Bly would argue that "Man" can mean the same as "mensch," although it is not often used in that way.

I rember the theme song for the old TV series, "Daniel Boone" which used it in that manner, although I'm unsure of its appropriateness. Can someone find its lyrics? I don't know how to cut and paste without a mouse on this crotchtop computer.
 
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Perhaps it is unique to German only because they have that unique habit of combining words to create a new one. It's not that we can't translate it. 'Disdain for humanity' is accurate, & I think it conveys the sentiment better than 'misanthropy'. Perhaps because 'anthropy' is not really a word, and its root 'anthro' leaks in a little suggestion of 'male in the scientific sense' which undermines the sense of 'mankind'-- even tho we read 'misanthropy' as 'dislike/hatred of mankind.' our prefix 'mis' is close enough to the German 'ver' as used here. But the German 'ver' modifies 'achtung' which conveys a high degree of respect and esteem, turned on its ear by the 'ver'. That's the missing piece in 'misanthropy'.
 
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Speaking of German words, perhaps this one explains my odd behavior: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witzelsucht
 
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Geoff -

Referring to your post of 9/16/2015- here's a link to one set of lyrics. Apparently there are a lot of additional verses, possibly related to the Disney movie (as opposed to the TV series). Google will point you to oodles of them.

Better late than never. ?
 
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Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone had different theme songs. IIRC, the Boone lyrics started with, "Daniel Boone was a man/ A big, big man/What a man, what a do-er/ What a dream coming true-er was he... Kinda reminds me of St-Exupéry saying, "To be a man is to be responsible." IIRC, from Vol De Nuit. Few today hold themselves accountable for their actions, so few fit that definition.
 
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Geoff, that is an interesting syndrome you posted about (Witzelsucht).
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone had different theme songs. IIRC, the Boone lyrics started with, "Daniel Boone was a man/ A big, big man/What a man, what a do-er/ What a dream coming true-er was he... Kinda reminds me of St-Exupéry saying, "To be a man is to be responsible." IIRC, from Vol De Nuit. Few today hold themselves accountable for their actions, so few fit that definition.
I loved Vol de Nuit. I'm not so sure that 'few today hold themselves accountable for their actions'. Although that notion has been under assault during 20thC influence from Freudianism & civil rights movement, & perhaps also from genetic science. But those are just waves of intellectual influence, which get assimilated into consciousness; most thinking people eventually arrive at the base understanding that their actions have consequences which they must own. Just because we happen to have a POTUS who looks to deflect all responsibility for the consequence of his words & actions onto others-- supported by a voter base looking to blame all their problems on others-- does not negate the fact that a plurality of voters cast their vote against him, & many of those votersare thinking people who own their decisions and actions.
 
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Call me irresponsible
Call me unreliable
Throw in undependable, too
Do my foolish alibis bore you?
Well, I'm not too clever, I
I just adore you
So, call me unpredictable
Tell me I'm impractical
Rainbows, I'm inclined to pursue
Call me irresponsible
Yes, I'm unreliable
But it's undeniably true
That I'm irresponsibly mad for you
Do my foolish alibis bore you?
Girl, I'm not too clever, I
I just adore you
Call me unpredictable
Tell me that I'm so impractical
Rainbows, I'm inclined to pursue


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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?Proof, I don't get the connection?

Getting back to the rest of the thread: Kalleh, I agree w/you that "mensch" in Yiddish means more than just 'a man' or 'a human being.' And I don't associate it w/a 'hero' type like Crockett or Boone. It means 'a REAL human being', including not just courage but strong morality combined with sensitivity to & deep understanding of human behavior/ emotions.
 
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