Podium Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

A Lexical Exploration Of Wellbeing Among London’s Language Communities (#81)

Tim Lomas 1
  1. School of Psychology, University of East London, London, UK

Although London’s multicultural nature is often celebrated, this ideal has come under challenge, especially post-Brexit. Consequently, there is need for a greater appreciation of the nature and value of cultural diversity in London. An innovative means to achieving this is through studying untranslatable words, which reveal phenomena that have been overlooked in English but identified by other languages. Over the past three years, the author has been constructing a lexicography of untranslatable words relating to wellbeing (www.drtimlomas.com/lexicography). Building on this on-going project, this presentation showcases the results of a new BA/Leverhulme funded study conducted across 2018-2019. The study involves the elicitation of videoblogs from speakers of the approximately 300 languages in London about untranslatable words in their language(s) relating to wellbeing, plus in-depth interviews with select speakers, with blogs and interviews analysed thematically, thereby providing a conceptual ‘map’ of the data. The research will enhance our understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity in London, as seen through the prism of wellbeing.