Happiness, paraphrased.

I recall mentioning this idea of Translation abilities being a pretty good indicator of understanding/ comprehension. It was an AQ lesson on what it means to Explain the author’s claim/ argument, and dear students, you might recall trying to translate certain Chinese idioms so as to accurately convey the nuances. (I recall one idiom in particular – dui4 niu2 tan2 qing2, which when literally translated, makes no sense whatsoever. ie it would not be an accurate paraphrase to say “playing piano to an audience of bovines”. Anyway, the point of that lesson was to illustrate that you cannot paraphrase word for word.)

So. What do you do if… (or, what DID you do when) the exam required you to paraphrase “pursuit of happiness”? You would very much have to understand what the author means by “happiness” -what the author’s belief about “happiness” is. In the context of the passage la.

In a Breaking News (is this really breaking news though?), ST publishes this:


(Nice example of dental hygiene – this could have been the headline, by the way.)

Anyway, the article mentions that:

According to the findings released on Monday, 70 per cent of respondents here reported more positive emotions last year, compared to 46 per cent the year before – the biggest jump among the 143 countries and areas surveyed by the international polling firm.

That catapulted the Republic from the bottom of the table in the 2011 study to the top half of the “positive” league of nations.

Before we pat ourselves on the back and endorse this “Most Improved” claim though, it would be worthwhile to venture into the indicators of the Gallup poll. EOM – evaluation of material. What were the factors that Gallup used to determine happiness levels? How did they go about surveying and how accurate is such data, really? Are we more “happy”? (Or are we told to be more happy and therefore respond to surveys in a more positive manner?)

Food for thought.

This entry was posted in Articles, Opinion pieces and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Happiness, paraphrased.

  1. Pingback: Happiness, paraphrased (part II) | Takes on GP Issues

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s