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Я слушал лекцию на русском и услышал цитату из Эпиктета: "Человек - это душонка, обременённая трупом."

Как перевести слово душонка на английский? В чём отличие этого слова от слова "душа"?

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You are a little soul, carrying a corpse. Fragment xxvi.

Golden Sayings of Epictetus Edit as translated by Hastings Crossley

This is an English translation from Greek by a professional translator. The difference between душа and душонка is that the second one carries a negative or perhaps a derogatory connotation.

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  • Regrettable, though, that there is no single word for it. Needs to be invented =) – Toto Nov 25 '17 at 20:01
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The best match would be "a miserable/pitiful/worthless soul", as to express contempt. In the quote, this form of the word "душа" has been used to make the contrast between the pettiness of the soul and the massiveness of its burden ("the corpse") even more grotesque.

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A suffix -онк(а) appended to a root ending with К-Ч/Х-Ш/Г-Ж of feminine (and rarely masculine) nouns always impart a word either a diminutive or derogatory connotation

собака/собачка - собачонка
рубаха/рубашка - рубашонка
мошна - мошонка
рука/ручка - ручонка
юбка/обочка - юбчонка
дева/девка/девочка - девчонка
книга/книжка - книжонка
река/речка - речонка
старуха/старушка - старушонка
тысяча - тысчонка
малец/мальчик - мальчонка (here the form is feminine but the gender is still masculine)

and a suffix -онок also derives masculine noun with these same connotations

собака/собачка - собачонок
сука - сучонок
бочка - бочонок
белка - бельчонок
заяц/зайка/зайчик - зайчонок
кроль/кролик - крольчонок

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  • Please note, that most people would associate мошонка with male body part. Mошна, however, still has its original meaning - a purse, afaik. – user2851843 Nov 29 '17 at 6:40

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