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”

5 Reasons the Romanian anti-Covid campaign failed – A quick communications audit

As someone who's been plagued by chronic respiratory ailments, and an emigrée with very strong ties to the motherland, I have kept a close eye on the Romanian anti-Covid vaccination campaign. My feelings about it went from the initial awe at the exceptional logistical organization with its fast and effective roll-out, to downright dismay when, … Continue reading 5 Reasons the Romanian anti-Covid campaign failed – A quick communications audit

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

Jobs, vacation and the challenges of transcreation

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

Mistake or Linguistic Innovation?

How do you feel about poetic licenses, lax grammar, and invented words? Is language a living organism, constantly evolving, or should a strictly standardized version be enforced? Here's what Romanian-French philosopher E. M. Cioran thinks: "A dead language (...) is a language in which you don't have the right to make mistakes. Which means that … Continue reading Mistake or Linguistic Innovation?

How Do We Make Sense of Things? The Language Connection

As award-winning blogger Maria Popova once said, "We can never see the world as it really is". And that's because, on the one hand, we are part of the very system we are trying to describe, and on the other because the things we perceive make little or no sense to us until we plot … Continue reading How Do We Make Sense of Things? The Language Connection

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

Subtleties of Romanian: The Not-so-solemn Distinction Between “Mantuire” and “Mantuiala”

The other day I saw an ad for a subtitling job. It was in one of my language combinations, (English into Romanian), and it was for religious content. As I have successfully translated religious and philosophical essays before, I felt it was right up my alley and decided to apply.  While waiting to receive additional … Continue reading Subtleties of Romanian: The Not-so-solemn Distinction Between “Mantuire” and “Mantuiala”

Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Good question. But what is genderlect, anyway? Linguists use this blending of gender and dialect to describe how language use differs between men and women (and also to sound cool). Do men and women use language differently? A large body of research shows that yes, indeed they do. With the advancement of gender equality, these … Continue reading Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Skincare Words 101: The Tricky Difference Between ‘Alina’ and ‘Alinta’ in Romanian

Nowhere is aspirational writing more at home than in the fashion and cosmetics industries. Lotions and moisturizers, dresses and accessories will do all sorts of exquisite things to your skin and figure: they hydrate and cleanse, revitalize and smooth, fortify and enliven. They can flatter your silhouette, highlight your natural curves and make you shine.  … Continue reading Skincare Words 101: The Tricky Difference Between ‘Alina’ and ‘Alinta’ in Romanian