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

Perception and Communication

We've all been fooled by our senses. Put your hand in lukewarm water after it's been in a bowl of ice, and you'll find it hot. Or look at an optical illusion. It's all it takes to make us less sure of how infallible our brains really are. And yet. We're dead sure that our … Continue reading Perception and Communication

3 Ways Social Media Can Hurt Your Communication (and Relationships)

Have you also felt, on occasion, that social media - while making it easier to stay in touch - makes it harder to stay friends? That is sucks you in up into a virtual bubble, to the point where you get no satisfaction? And yet, we keep scrolling, reading, texting. Why does that happen? Well, … Continue reading 3 Ways Social Media Can Hurt Your Communication (and Relationships)

Transcreation Toolbox (II): The Literary Devices Behind Great Slogans

(Read initial article here.) Here are some other exciting examples of slogans for brands that have made history. And an explanation why they have managed to stand out and work so well. British Rail: Six simple words and a rhyme. "Let the train take the strain". There is assonance for a more powerful and memorable … Continue reading Transcreation Toolbox (II): The Literary Devices Behind Great Slogans

Games People Play in Communication – Test Yourself!

Another exciting communication model is Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis. The basic idea behind this theory is that people can have (and react out of) different ego-states, such as Parent (normative or caring), Adult (objective, solutions-oriented) and Child (spontaneous, intuitive, feelings-oriented, rebel/obedient). Communication and interaction thus happen between different ego-states of the communication partners and can lead … Continue reading Games People Play in Communication – Test Yourself!

Cooperative Communication and Grice’s 4 Maxims

Some time ago I promised to offer you a more in-depth look at pragmatics, the principle of cooperative communication, and the 4 Gricean Maxims. I owe it to all of you patient readers to deliver on that promise, so let me just apologize for the delay and pick up where I left off. I've been … Continue reading Cooperative Communication and Grice’s 4 Maxims

Transcreation Toolbox (I): The Literary Devices Behind Great Slogans

We keep hearing slogans should be memorable. But have you ever stopped to wonder (and – gasp – analyze!) what makes good slogans stick in your brain and act as remote controls of human behavior? What is it about them that alerts and entices emotions, generates appeal and triggers action? Here’s one explanation, and it … Continue reading Transcreation Toolbox (I): The Literary Devices Behind Great Slogans