A recent survey from goo Ranking looked at a word from English (a letter, actually) that has lost something in translation. The letter is M (for masochist), but as you will see from this survey of what aspects of someone’s character makes people think they might be M, for both women and men, it could just as easily be M for meek. Note that S, which appears in the answers below, is for sadist.
Over the 23rd and 24th of August 2010 1,127 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.3% of the sample were female, 11.7% in their teens, 16.5% in their twenties, 29.0% in their thirties, 23.2% in their forties, 10.9% in their fifties, and 8.7% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.
Another popular survey translation of mine on fetishes also illustrates the loss in translation.
Q: What features of people make you think they might be masochists? (Sample size=646, female)
Rank Score 1 They want to be ordered around 100 2 They want to get scolded 94.5 3 They like being directed 88.3 4 They want to be looked after 88.0 5 They like bad boys 63.6 6 They are quick to apologise 47.4 7= They’re always bursting into tears 41.6 7= They are only interested in people’s expressions 41.6 9 They are always timid 41.2 10 They cannot decide anything by themselves 38.5 11 They cannot do anything alone 37.8 12 They have a small voice 35.1 13 Their gaze is always downward 27.1 14 Their fashion taste matches their partner’s 25.8 15 As they are afraid to refuse a request, they do what they are told 23.7 16 They are adamant that they are S 21.3 17 Their partner is more important than their friends 15.1 18 They are most afraid of causing people trouble 13.1 19 They listen more than talk 12.0 20 They give up quickly 11.0
Q: What features of people make you think they might be masochists? (Sample size=481, male)
Rank Score 1 They want to get ordered around 100 2 They want to get scolded 95.5 3 They want to be looked after 78.6 4 They like being directed 74.7 5 They cannot decide anything by themselves 62.3 6 They are quick to apologise 60.4 7 They have a small voice 58.4 8 They are always timid 57.8 9 They cannot do anything alone 53.2 10 They are only interested in people’s expressions 48.1 11 Their gaze is always downward 41.6 12 They’re always bursting into tears 40.3 13 They like bad boys 39.0 14 They are adamant that they are S 35.1 15= As they are afraid to refuse a request, they do what they are told 22.7 15= They are most afraid of causing people trouble 22.7 17 Their fashion taste matches their partner’s 19.5 18 They cannot do greetings 18.8 19= Except in extreme circumstances they won’t open their heart to others 16.2 19= They are scared of spreading rumours 16.2