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What does happiness even mean?

幸福在哪里?

中文 英文 双语 2012-10-31    来源:Xu Weiwei and Hugh Langley Special To 21st Century      阅读数:207585
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导读:“你幸福吗?”这是个见仁见智的问题。而衡量“幸福”的标准也一直颇受争议。下面就让我们一起来探讨一下这个难以捉摸的(elusive)话题。
放大这张图片
你幸福吗
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“你幸福吗?”这是个见仁见智的问题。而衡量幸福的标准也一直颇受争议。下面就让我们一起来探讨一下这个难以捉摸的话题。

Recently, CCTV journalists have approached pedestrians with their cameras, held a microphone to their mouth and asked a simple question: “Are you happy?”
近日,中央电视台记者将镜头和麦克风对准了普通路人,采访的问题很简单:“你幸福吗?”

The question has caught many interviewees off guard. Even Mo Yan, who recently won a Nobel Prize, responded by saying: “I don’t know”.
这个问题令许多被访者措手不及。甚至就连刚刚获得诺贝尔奖的莫言也回应说:“我不知道。”

While the question has become a buzz phrase and the Internet plays host to heated discussions, we ask: What exactly is happiness? And how do you measure it?
这一问题已经成为热门语句并引发网络热议。我们不禁要问:“到底什么是幸福?你又怎样衡量幸福呢?”

In the 1776 US Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson set in writing the people’s unalienable right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Last year, 235 years on, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao told the nation: “Everything we do is aimed at letting people live more happily.” At last year’s National People’s Congress, officials agreed that increasing happiness would be a top target for the 12th five-year plan.
在1776年美国发布的《独立宣言》中,托马斯•杰弗逊写下,人们拥有不可剥夺的“生存权、自由权以及追求幸福的权利”。235年过去了,去年,温家宝总理在发表全国讲话时说:“我们做的每件事都是为了让人民过得更幸福。”在去年举行的全国人民代表大会上,各级官员一致同意将增加国民幸福感定为我国“十二五”规划的首要目标。

US psychologist Ed Diener, author of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, describes happiness as “a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive than negative emotions”, according to US broadcasting network PBS. This may sound straightforward enough, but it still doesn’t explain what determines people’s happiness.
据美国PBS电视台报道,《快乐:解锁心灵财富的秘密》一书的作者、美国心理学家埃德•迪纳将幸福描述为“对生活满足且正面情绪占上风”。尽管这听上去足够直白,但还是没有解释出是什么决定人们的幸福感。

Many argue that happiness is elusive and that there is no single source. It also means different things to different people. For some, happiness can be as simple as having enough cash to buy a new bicycle; for others, it’s about socializing or finding the perfect spouse.
很多人认为,幸福难以捉摸,它源自许多方面。对于不同的人来说,幸福的意义也不同。对一些人而言,幸福很简单,有足够的钱来买辆新自行车就很幸福;对其他人而言,幸福则关乎于社交活动或是找寻最佳伴侣。

Researchers believe happiness can be separated into two types: daily experiences of hedonic well-being; and evaluative well-being, the way people think about their lives as a whole. The former refers to the quality of living, whereas the latter is about overall happiness, including life goals and achievements. Happiness can cross both dimensions.
研究人员认为,幸福可以分成两类:一是日常的享乐主义幸福,二是可评估的幸福,即人们整体看待生活的方式。前者强调生活质量,而后者则注重全面幸福感,包括人生目标和成就。幸福可以在二者之间跨界。

Li Jun, a psychologist and mental therapy practitioner at a Beijing clinic, says: “Happiness can mean both the most basic human satisfaction or the highest level of spiritual pursuit. It’s a simple yet profound topic.”
来自北京一家诊所的心理精神理疗师李俊(音译)表示:“幸福的定义既可以是人类最基本的需求得到满足,也可以是精神追求的最高境界。这是一个看似简单却深奥的话题。”

Chen Shangyuan, 21, a junior English major at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said his idea of happiness always evolves. “At present it relates to how productive I am in a day,” he said. “It might be linked to job security or leisure time after I graduate.”
21岁的陈尚远(音译)现就读于南京航空航天大学,他表示自己对于幸福的理解总是不断进化。他说:“眼下幸福与与我每日的学习效率有关。毕业后,也许会同职业安全感以及闲暇时间有关。”

Then there is the question of measuring happiness. Does it depend on how many friends we have, or whether we own the latest smartphone? Is it even quantifiable?
接下来的问题是:如何衡量幸福?取决于我们身边朋友的多少?是否拥有最新款的智能手机?而幸福真的可以量化吗?

Economists are trying to measure happiness in people’s lives. Since 1972, Bhutan’s GDP measurement has been replaced by a Gross National Happiness index. It is calculated according to the peoples’ sense of being well-governed, their relationship with the environment, their satisfaction with economic development, and their sense of national belonging.
经济学家们一直试图衡量人们生活的幸福感。从1972年开始,不丹放弃国内生产总值的测算,取而代之的是“国民幸福指数”。这一数值根据人们对政府以及经济发展的满意度、与环境的关系、以及国民归属感测算产生。

In 2009, US economist Joseph Stiglitz proposed “to shift emphasis from measuring economic production to measuring people’s well-being”. But is well-being more easily measured?
2009年,美国经济学家约瑟夫•斯蒂格里兹提议“将测量的重点从经济生产转移到国民幸福感上来。”但是,幸福真会变得更易于测量吗?

21英语网站版权说明  (Translator & Editor: 21英语 Louise AND Aaron)


以上文章内容选自《21世纪英文报》,详情请见《21世纪英文报》977期
辞海拾贝
pedestrian步行者 unalienable不可剥夺的
pursuit追求 straightforward直截了当的
elusive难懂的,难捉摸的 spouse配偶(指夫或妻)
hedonic享乐的 evaluative可估计的
practitioner从业者 profound深刻的
evolve使发展,进化 leisure空闲,闲暇
quantifiable可以计量的 index指数



 


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