The dark side of Danish hygge: Neologisms hyggeracisme and hyggesexisme, their meaning and translation options

The dark side of Danish hygge: Neologisms hyggeracisme and hyggesexisme, their meaning and translation options

Авторы: Авакова Юлия Михайловна ЧИТАТЬ
Avakova Yu. The dark side of Danish hygge: Neologisms hyggeracisme and hyggesexisme, their meaning and translation options / Yu.Avakova. — Текст: непосредственный // Scandinavian Philology. — 2020. — Vol. 18, issue 1. — Pp. 5–20.

The article explores the concept of Danish hygge as an integral part of Danish language consciousness. Two peculiar concepts that have been coined relatively recently (namely hyggeracisme and hyggesexisme) have already managed to gain a certain popularity with the Danish media, notwithstanding the said expressions’ obvious ambiguity.



On the one hand, these terms encompass a variety of shades of meaning intrinsic to the concept of hygge, on the other hand, they have more to do with some marginal interpretations of hygge, rather than with more conventional perceptions of the phenomenon. The “dark side” of Danish hygge has often been the subject of social science research, though one must admit, somewhat regrettably, that it has not been thoroughly examined in regard to translation.



Being a widely accepted social phenomenon, it deserves further investigation. In order to proceed with the task at hand and to correctly delineate the actual meaning of these neologisms, one must embrace the semantic limitations of the hygge concept, simultaneously drawing distinctions between the positive, neutral and negative impacts of hygge on everyday life. Furthermore, if one takes a more detailed look at such basic concepts as ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’, one will see that these have different implications for the Danish and Russian languages due to the various cultural, historical, and institutional differences between the two countries, although the core meaning seems to remain intact. These differences, however minimal, may become substantial enough to negate the possibility of employing direct equivalents for translation purposes.



When such notions as ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ merge with ‘hyg-ge-’, the compound nouns seem to undergo a drastic semantic transformation — the original meaning gives way to a new one, much more obscure (thus making literal translation inadequate). The next step includes choosing the most feasible strategies for translation. Due to the fact that we are dealing with a neologism that is widely used, though not particularly consistently, one must always take into consideration the inten-tions of the speaker who usually makes references to Danish social and cultural realities that are not always entirely known to an outside observer. The article includes the main views on the notion of “hygge” in all its aspects, providing contextual examples of the occurrence of both neologisms, along with possible translations and justifications for the choices made by the author


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