IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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According to the Collins dictionary (2018), self is translated to Spanish as “uno mismo” (male), or “una misma” (female), but also as “el yo” (equivalent to “I” ). Other translations of “self” as “mismo” (“same”) highlight the relationship of this concept with the concept of identity . The related Spanish adjective “mismidad” designates “sameness”. According to Diccionario de filosofia abreviado [Abridged Dictionary of Philosophy] (Mora (2008), “Mismidad” is: 1. Condition of being oneself; 2. That for which one is oneself. 3. Personal identity. In addition, “Self” as “Yo”, is also “I”, and therefore the Freudian Ich (Ego). In fact, the term “Yo” has a distinctly Latin etymology being a variation of the old vulgar Latin “Eo” which in turn is a simplification of the classical Latin word “Ego”. The Portuguese term “Eu” (“I”), has the same etymological origin. According to the Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary (2018), “Yo”, as a personal pronoun; 1. Designates the person who speaks or writes (The equivalent to “I”); 2. From a philosophical perspective, refers to the human subject as a person; 3. From a psychological perspective, it refers to a conscious part of the individual, through which each person takes charge of their own identity and their relationships with the environment. In Spanish “Yo” means selfhood, sameness / likeness (opposite of otherness) , and also, is used to refer to the total person . According to Sensagent dictionary (2018), “Yo” from a psychological perspective, is the: Conscious part of the personality; seat of perception and subjective center of affective and intellectual experience. It constitutes, for the individual, the representation of his own identity: the distinction between the external world and the self. According to Cambridge dictionary (2018) in Spanish, “Yo” could also be translated as “I” and “me”. A similar situation is presented in Portuguese (Dicionario Priberam 2008-2013), since “Eu” (“I” in English and “Yo” in Spanish) as a personal pronoun corresponds to 1. “My person” (formal and informal); and 2. The conscious being, awareness. It follows from the above, that the terms “Yo” and “Self” are intertwined in their meaning, as it happens in English between “I” and “Self”. In addition, the tight relationship between Spanish Yo or Portuguese Eu on one hand, and one’s own subjectivity on the other, could, at least in part, explain lesser necessity of usage of the term Self in the studies related with one’s own subjectivity in the Latin American region. Indeed, a broad bibliographical search recently carried out by the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association database of Argentine psychoanalytic publications, the use of the term “Yo” triplicates the references to the term “Self”. A thorough psychoanalytic perspective on the etymology and semantics of Self by Leon Grinberg et al. (1966) will be presented in the section about Latin American developments (below).


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