Quote of the day

Today, I'm going to trust you with some German, but you can always use ModernMT, DeepL or Google Translate to figure it out - and also check how good Neural Machine Translation has become in the meantime. (Not kidding, please evaluate, compare, and let me know your thoughts on this. How much post-editing do you … Continue reading Quote of the day

Ideologies – What Are They and How Do They Come to Be?

"We are faced with the curiously appalling trend of modern thought, in which the absolute which was once a means of entering into communion with the divine, has now become an instrument used by those who profit from it, to distort, pervert, and conceal the meaning of the present.“Karl Mannheim - Ideology and Utopia (1929) … Continue reading Ideologies – What Are They and How Do They Come to Be?

A Few Fact-Checking Tips

We are living through strange, polarized times and research shows that people are increasingly relying on the Internet and social media to keep themselves informed. The only problem with that: how does one decide which information to trust and which to discard? For starters, a basic rule of thumb is to check the credibility of … Continue reading A Few Fact-Checking Tips

Cultural dimensions and their implications: “High context”

You've probably heard it said before: Germany is a low-context culture. But what does that mean? The terms "low-context" and "high-context" were coined by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall. In low-context cultures, people attribute less importance to context. Low-context cultures are explicit, clear, textual cultures, which derive meaning from the actual words on the page, … Continue reading Cultural dimensions and their implications: “High context”

Your social media feed and the snow job technique

Motto: "Indignation is still bondage."Bertrand Russell In negotiation, there is a hardball technique called "the snow job", which consists of flooding the other party with so much information as to overwhelm them and make it nearly impossible to sift through it all. The consequence? The other party will no longer be able to tell which … Continue reading Your social media feed and the snow job technique

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

Language and Deception: Distortion and Socially Constructed Reality

Motto: "What's in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other name will smell as sweet."William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet Over the weekend, a couple of my friends have watched Michael Moore's latest documentary, Planet of the Humans. The one aspect that caused the most bewilderment among them seems to be the … Continue reading Language and Deception: Distortion and Socially Constructed Reality

Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (I)

Why does language matter?  Why is it important and beneficial for people to have very good language skills? Postmodern culture theorists will tell you all notions are socially constructed, and that language is used not only to reflect, but also to co-create realities.  In a sense, all reality is textual:  it depends itself on language … Continue reading Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (I)

How many languages are there in the world?

An exciting topic, which first begs the question "what is language?" According to linguists from the Leiden University in the Netherlands, language is a system of communication defined by three main characteristics: discrete infinity displacement joint attention, and as such is typical only of human beings. Discrete infinity means that language is made up of individual … Continue reading How many languages are there in the world?

Stop The Escalation! Stages of Conflict

'Tis the season to be jolly... and yet, nobody can rule out conflicts that flare up around the holidays. I thought it might be of use to list and explain a little the typical stages of conflict escalation, to give you a better idea where you're at, what's coming and how to check yourselves... 🙂 Hopefully, … Continue reading Stop The Escalation! Stages of Conflict