Dagmar (dadi) wrote in linguaphiles,
Dagmar
dadi
linguaphiles

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Love thy neighbour

While trying to explain the (biblical) concept of Nächstenliebe in German to an American friend, and looking up all the various Wikipedia entries in different languages about this, I realized that there are several rather different acceptions of this virtue out there.
In German and Italian for example, you are asked to love the person next to you, "Nächster", or "prossimo". In English, your neighbour. The "original" hebrew word would be "reah", which could mean everything from a relative to a foreigner.
But.. when you search for the noun, in many languages there is no specific one. Generally, we have words derived from either caritas or agape, but no nouns I know of which in the language itself explain the selfless love for others.
So, how is it in your language?
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