SPOKEN DISCOURSE: How Do We Know What They Mean?

Welcome back and a happy, healthy New Year to all! Knowing what people actually mean is one of the most fascinating quandaries in verbal communication, and one that has preoccupied linguists, psychologists, philosophers and cultural theorists the world over. Decoding information accurately is essential for proper understanding, so it is no wonder that we now … Continue reading SPOKEN DISCOURSE: How Do We Know What They Mean?

5 Reasons the Romanian anti-Covid campaign failed – A quick communications audit

As someone who's been plagued by chronic respiratory ailments, and an emigrée with very strong ties to the motherland, I have kept a close eye on the Romanian anti-Covid vaccination campaign. My feelings about it went from the initial awe at the exceptional logistical organization with its fast and effective roll-out, to downright dismay when, … Continue reading 5 Reasons the Romanian anti-Covid campaign failed – A quick communications audit

Cultural dimensions and their implications – “Femininity”

What is culture? Simply put, culture is a set of beliefs, values, social norms, attitudes and behaviors acquired and reinforced through socialization. In Geert Hofstede's seminal book "Cultures and Organizations - Software of the Mind" there are 5 major dimensions of culture: Power distanceIndividualism vs. collectivismUncertainty avoidance indexMasculinity vs. femininityLong-term vs. short-term orientation Later on, … Continue reading Cultural dimensions and their implications – “Femininity”

Brand Religion? Try Culture First

According to anthropologists (like C. Geertz in his seminal work The Interpretation of Cultures), religion is the most important product of culture. It is a comprehensive worldview that purports to give its devotees access to "the real reality" and help them transcend; it also norms behavior and puts forward a clear roadmap for decision-making. In … Continue reading Brand Religion? Try Culture First

Applied Cultural Linguistics: Romanian Jokes About the Pandemic

Far be it from me to make light of the difficult times we are all going through, but sanity sometimes requires a lighter touch ("Dinge auf die leichte Schulter nehmen" as the Germans would phrase it), so I thought I'd bring you today some intercultural competence in the form of jokes and puns about quarantine, … Continue reading Applied Cultural Linguistics: Romanian Jokes About the Pandemic

Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider

In our lives, change is inevitable. It's always on the prowl, in the background, hiding behind an illusion of stability and safety. When 'black swan' events such as the Covid-19 crisis occur, companies are forced to implement changes to their work environments and their business model at the drop of a hat.  But how to … Continue reading Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider

Subtleties of Romanian: The Not-so-solemn Distinction Between “Mantuire” and “Mantuiala”

The other day I saw an ad for a subtitling job. It was in one of my language combinations, (English into Romanian), and it was for religious content. As I have successfully translated religious and philosophical essays before, I felt it was right up my alley and decided to apply.  While waiting to receive additional … Continue reading Subtleties of Romanian: The Not-so-solemn Distinction Between “Mantuire” and “Mantuiala”

Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Good question. But what is genderlect, anyway? Linguists use this blending of gender and dialect to describe how language use differs between men and women (and also to sound cool). Do men and women use language differently? A large body of research shows that yes, indeed they do. With the advancement of gender equality, these … Continue reading Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Skincare Words 101: The Tricky Difference Between ‘Alina’ and ‘Alinta’ in Romanian

Nowhere is aspirational writing more at home than in the fashion and cosmetics industries. Lotions and moisturizers, dresses and accessories will do all sorts of exquisite things to your skin and figure: they hydrate and cleanse, revitalize and smooth, fortify and enliven. They can flatter your silhouette, highlight your natural curves and make you shine.  … Continue reading Skincare Words 101: The Tricky Difference Between ‘Alina’ and ‘Alinta’ in Romanian

Food Words 101: Garen, Gären, (Er)nähren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss

How do you feel about cooking? Love it? Loathe it? Personally, I am not a major fan, but the coronavirus lockdowns have turned us all into hobby chefs. Out of boredom (or dire need), we have picked up those cookbooks or browsed the net in search of something truly yummy (and not too difficult to … Continue reading Food Words 101: Garen, Gären, (Er)nähren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss