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Emotional Intelligence

WHAT’S UP WITH…’BRINGING TO THE LIGHT’?

WANT TO TRULY UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN CULTURE AND LANGUAGE? Learn another language.
There is nothing like a sharp contrast to open up one’s perspectives.
Today’s EQ bubble gum moment is brought to you by Walking Inside and the fabulous expression ‘bringing to the light’, an expression I have found as a direct English translation of the Chinese Mandarin word 发明 (pronounced faming).
Start chewing, this might blow your mind.
The word发明 is made up of two characters, 发 (fa) and明(ming).
The symbol发 means to create, build, construct, fabricate, develop, make happen.
The symbol明 is a drawing of the sun and the moon together, representing the concept of light or brightness.
When we combine发and 明 together, we get something like, ‘making something happen by bringing it to the light’. Now, which English word resonates with this long definition/explanation? Still do not know? Prepare for your bubble gum to pop…
In my Chinese-English dictionary, besides the word发明, we can read the following: ‘bringing to the light; invent’. Therefore, in Chinese Mandarin, to invent is to make something happen by bringing it to the light.
This distinction is a sharp contrast of perspective compared the French word ‘inventer’ and its English counterpart ‘invent’.
In French, the word ‘inventer’ comes from the Latin ‘invenire’, meaning ‘to find’. In ‘invenire’, there is another verb, ‘venir’; ‘venir’ literally means ‘to come towards us’. In French, to invent is the action of finding by allowing something to come towards us.
In English, the word ‘invent’ comes from Middle English ‘inventen’, French, and Latin. To invent is to ‘come upon, meet with, find, discover’.
Do you see how a seemingly every-day used word resonates differently in different cultures?
发明: making something happen by bringing it to light.
Inventer: action of finding by allowing something to come to us.
Invent: come upon, meet with, find, discover.
Bringing our awareness to the light, which one of these three definitions speak to your consciousness? You be the judge.

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