The Complex History of Meeting Your Exact Double  當你遇見你的分身




Meeting one’s double—or doppelgänger—has a long and complex history.



  A doppelgänger is supposed to be a person’s exact double. The word has been borrowed from German and is often translated as “double walker.” In the past, the appearance of a doppelgänger was never good news, though.



  In traditional myths and legends, a doppelgänger was a type of ghost or spirit. Seeing a doppelgänger usually meant something bad would happen. In many legends, seeing one’s own double meant that death was near. In other stories, seeing someone else’s double meant something bad could happen to that person.



  Before the German word “doppelgänger” became common, the English word “fetch” was used to describe seeing a spirit copy of one’s self. Other cultures also had their own words for a similar spirit or creature. In Egypt, it was called a ka, which was a spirit that had all the same memories as the person it copied. The ka could be found causing all kinds of trouble in folklore. In Norse and Finnish mythology, a similar being would appear to show people their near future. The doppelgänger is also considered a version of the Ankou, a sign of death in Breton folklore. In all of these cultures’ legends, it was always a bad sign to see your doppelgänger.

  在「doppelgänger」這個德文單字變得普遍之前,英文裡「fetch」這個字就被用來描述一個人看到靈體翻版的自己(編按:此說法源自愛爾蘭民間傳說)。在其他文化中對於稱呼這一種類似的靈體或是生物也有自己的字詞。埃及稱它為「ka」,這是一種擁有與其複製的人完全相同記憶的靈體。在民間傳說中發現 ka 會引起各種的麻煩。在古斯堪地那維亞及芬蘭神話中,一種相似的生物會現身在人們面前並顯示他們不久後的未來。在布列塔尼民俗中,分身也被視為是一種「Ankou」 ── 一個死亡的徵兆(編按:Ankou 為一種似鬼怪的骷髏怪物,其職責為引領亡靈前往地獄)。在所有這些文化的傳說裡,看到你的分身總是一個壞兆頭。


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