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?
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
We're at the height of summer and, in many European countries, it's blessed vacation season. People are exhausted and can't wait to take a break from their jobs, to travel, relax, and have some fun. Because most people, it would seem, actually hate their jobs. Even before the pandemic, a global poll conducted by Gallup … Continue reading Jobs, vacation and the challenges of transcreation
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
To my dear readers: Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well! I was wondering if any of you might like to help me with my new linguistic pet project. I was wondering how far the equality of the sexes has come and what it feels like to be a woman in our day-to-day interactions … Continue reading Linguistic Research Project – Humble Request
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
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
To say that words are powerful, that they influence thought and perception, and engender representations is a truism. Their force and importance is uncontested. Sometimes it is the case, however, that a new physical context emerges before we even have a concept for it. And for it to become a psychological reality, a perceptible reality that … Continue reading Ways Out of the Lockdown: 4 Types of Discursive Strategies
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?
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