Language and Thought: How Interconnected Are They?

Motto: "The problem with words is you don't know whose mouths they've been in." (Dennis Potter) Ever since Aristotle, and probably way before that, our world has been both aware of and fascinated by the hypnotic power of words. Our word choices and how we put them together to create context and meaning, social representations … Continue reading Language and Thought: How Interconnected Are They?

Language Quote of the Day

"How can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them, while you (...) must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself."                   … Continue reading Language Quote of the Day

Is There Such a Thing as “Untranslatable”?

Are there any truly untranslatable words? The short answer is: No. The long answer: It depends on your definition of "untranslatable". Given that different cultures code things differently, it is a fact of life that every language contains at least a handful of words for which no equivalent word exists in another language. But fear not! … Continue reading Is There Such a Thing as “Untranslatable”?

How discourse analysis helps me be a better transcreator

As Wikipedia will have it, transcreation (the craft of creative translation) refers to "the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone, and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language." That's … Continue reading How discourse analysis helps me be a better transcreator

Denglish Reloaded

Welcome back! Whether you love it or loath it, it is undeniably Monday again, and I owe you an explanation, seeing how I left you last week with the seemingly impenetrable riddle of "This is me sausage". I'm sure most of you have already figured it out, but for those of you who haven't, here is … Continue reading Denglish Reloaded

Denglish Quote of the Day

Well, summer is definitely here and, having just survived our first heat wave, let's lighten things up a bit with these funny literal translations of German sayings. (Der Sommer ist endlich da, die erste Hitzewelle fast schon vorbei, also wollen wir uns den Tag ein bißchen aufheitern mit diesen wortwörtlichen Übersetzungen deutscher Sprüche.) Have you … Continue reading Denglish Quote of the Day

Germany – A Country of Immigrants?

Last Sunday, when Bavaria voted to shift the local political balance for the first time in 60 years and send the cold shiver of irrelevance down the spines of major traditional party leaders, structural factors were invoked. So, has the population structure really changed that much during the past electoral cycle? Let's have a look. … Continue reading Germany – A Country of Immigrants?

Language in Politics

Most of you language buffs out there must have heard about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic determinism, or, in its weaker form, linguistic relativity. (If not, look it up, it's rather cool!) While the stronger version (linguistic determinism) seems implausible, there is an accruing body of evidence to buttress linguistic relativity. What that means in … Continue reading Language in Politics

Sociolinguistcs – Spoken Discourse Reveals Its Secrets

Do you speak the same when you're talking to your mother in the kitchen or when you're addressing the CEO of your company during a business meeting? Do you use the same words, sentence structures, or even the same language with your childhood pals as with your insurance consultant? Of course you don't. None of … Continue reading Sociolinguistcs – Spoken Discourse Reveals Its Secrets

How To Achieve Win-Win. Cooperative vs. Competitive Communication

As social creatures, we humans are dependent on communication with others about the most diverse topics. We have the cognitive and psychological ability to see the world from a variety of standpoints and to reach cooperative end results. Empathy allows us to evaluate, understand, and even adopt another person's point of view.  We are able … Continue reading How To Achieve Win-Win. Cooperative vs. Competitive Communication