We often use metaphors or figures of speech to express our emotions: for example, love is located in the heart … but is this really true for all languages?
Farsi is a good example that this assignment of emotions to certain parts of our body isn’t as universal as it seems: „to jigare mani“ means literally „you are my liver“. By using this vital organ, Farsi speakers express „you are my big love“.
In Spanish you say „estoy enamorado hasta los hígados“ („I’m in love up to the liver“) and mean „head over heels in love“.
Another important organ is the stomach:
In Farsi „del“ is the word for heart as well as for stomach. „u-del dard darad“ („my stomach aches“) means „my heart is aching“ and if a Farsi speakers says „del-am por az xun-e“ („my stomach is full of blood“), there is no need to hurry to the emergency department. He wants to express his sadness by saying „my heart is bleeding“. In French, „j’ai mal au cœur“ isn’t necessarily an evidence of a heart attack, but means „I feel sick / nauseous“.
We need to pay attention in order to know if the speaker of another language is speaking literally or figuratively. And we should be aware of the fact that the relation between emotions and parts of the body is mainly a cultural convention.