And here we are already, Episode 3 of our Romanian saga. How do Romanians, on average, relate to their ENVIRONMENT? What is going on with deforestation? Why is the majority of Romanians still unvaccinated against Covid and why is the polarization on this topic so dire? All legitimate questions. While most of the highly-educated urban … Continue reading A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – ENVIRONMENT
Ah, culture!... That vague concept, so hard to pinpoint. What is it, really? Is it a concert? A book? A Picasso painting? Is it everything humans have ever created? Is it the opposite of nature? For the purposes of this blog, CULTURE is the shared worldview, mindset, and behaviors of a particular community of human … Continue reading A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – INTRODUCTION
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?
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
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
So, you are now in your second, third, or possibly even fourth week of social isolation. These times are tough on everyone (but more so on extroverts). On top of that, watching the news is like a bucket of negative emotions being dumped on your head on a daily basis, the future feels uncertain at … Continue reading Social Distancing? 7 Communication Tips for Maintaining Relationships
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”?
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Well, recent research conducted by psychologists from the University of Chicago and Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona shows it can. How? What?! You have probably never doubted your own integrity to this extent before. Do we become different people when thinking about things in a foreign language? I don't know about that, but this research shows pretty conclusively … Continue reading Moral Relativity In A Foreign Language – Can it affect you?
Ah, rhetoric! Ars bene dicendi, as the ancient Romans would put it. In short, the theoretical know-how and the practical skill of effective text production and its (usually oral) delivery. Used and abused over the centuries, it is often nowadays equated with manipulation and bombast. But let us have a closer look. What does "effective" … Continue reading The Psychology of Communication – The Power of Phrasing!