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?

Applied Cultural Linguistics: Romanian Jokes About the Pandemic

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

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

Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock

"Parties can become angry or entrenched in their positions. Perceptions become distorted, and judgments are biased. The parties stop communicating effectively and instead blame one another. One party has a conflict management style that is not compatible with the other. Perceptions are so different that the parties do not believe there is any possible compatibility … Continue reading Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock

Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation

Unless you live alone on a mountain top, you are involved in negotiations every single day. (And even hermits have to drive a ruthless bargain with themselves every once in a while - yes, negotiations can be intrapersonal too). Even though the term sounds fancy, each time you try to persuade another person to do … Continue reading Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation

Food Words 101: Garen, Gären, (Er)nähren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss

How do you feel about cooking? Love it? Loathe it? Personally, I am not a major fan, but the coronavirus lockdowns have turned us all into hobby chefs. Out of boredom (or dire need), we have picked up those cookbooks or browsed the net in search of something truly yummy (and not too difficult to … Continue reading Food Words 101: Garen, Gären, (Er)nähren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss

Weather Words 101: From ‘Überschwemmung’ to ‘Hitzewelle’

If you're like me, stuck at home in Bavaria this August because of the Covid-19 pandemic (Stichwort: staycation), then you've probably noticed some pretty significant variations in weather patterns and temperatures. Last week's word of the week could very well have been 'Überschwemmung' (flooding, inundation, overflow): But do you know the difference between 'Überschwemmung', 'Überflutung' … Continue reading Weather Words 101: From ‘Überschwemmung’ to ‘Hitzewelle’

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