Word of the week #29: 幸福

I thought of the words 幸福 when I read the LA Times article “In China, gauging happiness is all the rage.” The article translates the words xingfu (幸福) as happiness. However, based on my knowledge, the translation is not exact. 幸 means luck and 福 means blessings or fortune. So 幸福 is really good blessings or lucky fortune. It is not happy in the sense of an emotion coming from within. I use the words 快樂 for happiness. 快 means fast or quick. 樂 means happy or enjoyable. So I think of 快樂 as being happy quickly. Another word I would use for happiness is 開心, which means open heart. When one has an open heart, one is happy and joyous.

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