The English word disgust has no exact translation in Hindi or Malayalam

Cognition and Emotion 31 (6):1169-1180 (2017)
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Do different languages have a translation for the English word disgust that labels the same underlying concept? If not, the English word might label a culture-specific concept. Four studies compared disgust to its common translation in Hindi and in Malayalam by examining two components of the concept thought of as a script: causal antecedent and facial expression. The English word was used to refer to reactions to both unclean substances and moral violations; Hindi and Malayalam translations referred mainly to moral violations. Speakers of all three languages associated different facial expressions to unclean substances and moral violations. Words for disgust in the three languages failed a test of translation equivalence.



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