An interesting response to the alleged Finnish word for “excellence-forming” - a word missing from most languages:

Sampo Smolander to me

(1) I wish to thank you for your text in http://the-programmers-stone.com/about/
I immensely enjoyed reading it.

(2) Being a Finn, I’d like to comment on what you write on this page:
http://the-programmers-stone.com/about/why-no-one%E2%80%99s-noticed-this-before/

(a) I did not quite recognize the meaning that you assign to the Finnish word “elaytyminen” (which is a noun; an infinitive form the verb elaytya).

In my books, to elaytya basically means that you’re trying to get the feel of what it would feel like being someone else. Frankly, thinking how it’d feel like to walk in their shoes. When you read a book / watch a movie, you may elaytya to the main character (or to some other character). An actor may elaytya to the person he is acting, but eleytya kind of means
trying think and feel like your target would, so an actor can also “just act” without the emotional aligning component, so to say. You don’t necessarily need to eleytya to another person, but can also elaytya to a general feeling, mood, or atmosphere, though.

(b) However, and this kind of amazes me, my old pocket dictionary at hand says:

elaytyminen - insight
elaytya - put one’s soul into, enter into

Those english phrases are more close to what you wrote. Funny.


Dr. Sampo Smolander
http://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/~smolander/
Department of Geography, University College London